Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Maria Rilke’

Thursday Thirteen #14
April is National Poetry Month, so to celebrate I compiled a list of poets that I’m fond of and went in search of facts about them. I actually ended up with more than thirteen facts, but I didn’t think that you all would mind. As a bonus, you get to discover some of the poets I enjoy. (It turns out that Auguste Rodin was a great deal more influential than I ever knew. He knew two of the poets on this list.)

Thirteen Poets/Thirteen+ Facts
1. Shel Silverstein (American cartoonist/poet, 1932-1999) – Apart from his famous books of poetry for children, Mr. Silverstein also wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue,” made famous by Johnny Cash. (Read some poetry)

2. Maya Angelou (American writer, 1928- ) – Maya Angelou was born “Marguerite Johnson” on 4 April 1928. (Read some poetry)

3. Khalil Gibran (Lebanese poet, 1883-1931) – At one point, Gibran studied under the sculptor Auguste Rodin at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. (Read some poetry)

4. John Donne (English poet, 1572-1631) – Donne was born and raised a Roman Catholic, but eventually converted to Church of England. Later, King James pressured him into becoming an Anglican Priest. He and his wife had twelve children (she died bringing the twelfth into the world.) (Read some poetry)

5. Rainer Maria Rilke (German poet, 1875-1926) – Rilke worked as Auguste Rodin’s secretary from 1905-1906. His birth name was Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke. (Read some poetry)

6. Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet, 1914-1953) – Thomas served as an anti-aircraft gunner during World War II. He was only 39 when he died. (Read some poetry)

7. Emily Dickinson (American poet, 1830-1886) – Dickinson’s poems were not gathered and published without edits until 1955. Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime, and all were edited by others before publishing. (Read some poetry)

8. Arthur Rimbaud (French poet, 1854-1891) – Rimbaud “fell silent” (stopped writing poetry) at the age of nineteen. It is said that he chose to live life rather than write about it. (Read some poetry)

9. Billy Collins (American poet, 1941- ) – Mr. Collins was the poet laureate of the U.S. from 2001-2003 and the driving force behind Poetry 180. He once appeared on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion and seemed to be having a lot of fun. (Read some poetry)

10. Robert Frost (American poet, 1874-1963) – Frost won the Pulitzer prize for poetry four times. He outlived his wife and most of his children. (Read some poetry)

11. Anne Sexton (American poet, 1928-1974) – Sexton worked as a model at one point. She began writing poetry at the suggestion of her psychiatrist, and was encouraged by him to write more when she turned out to be quite good at it. (Read some poetry)

12. William Shakespeare (English playwright, 1564-1616) – At eighteen, Shakespeare married a woman eight years older than him (Anne Hathaway) who gave birth to her first child six months later. There is some indication that the marriage was a bit…hasty. (Read some poetry)

13. Sylvia Plath (American poet, 1932-1963) – Plath suffered from what was apparently bipolar disorder, and ended up taking her own life at age 30. (Read some poetry)

The Biography Resource Center (Database)
Poets.org from the Academy of American Poets.

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