Available from Amazon stores worldwide - 101 Poetry Tips written in a witty style by poet Paul Rance, who is also editor and publisher at the long standing Peace & Freedom Press. Paul uses his 30+ years in the world of poetry to offer advice to poets on writing, performing and publishing their poetry.
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British Poet Laureates
There have been 21 British poet laureates since the post was officially recognized in 1668. Carol Ann Duffy became the first female poet to hold the post, when she became poet laureate in 2009. Below are some of the most famous poet laureates.
John Dryden (1631-1700), Poet Laureate 1668-89
John Dryden was Britain's first official poet laureate. As well as being a poet, Dryden was a dramatist and satirist. He also translated the poems of the Roman epic poet Virgil.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Poet Laureate 1843-50
Born in Cockermouth, Wordsworth was influenced by the beautiful Lake District, and lived there with his sister Dorothy in the famous Dove Cottage. Wordsworth's poem, 'Daffodils', is one of the most popular poems in the English language. 'Prelude' and 'Lyrical Ballads' are among his other greatest works, with the latter being a joint collection of poems by Wordsworth and his good friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Robert Southey were to become known as the 'Lake poets'. For a poet often seen as gentle, Wordsworth was, initially, a supporter of the French Revolution. But he became dismayed and disillusioned by the acts of barbaric retribution after the Revolution.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92), Poet Laureate 1850-92
Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincs, and he wrote poetry over six decades. Tennyson's greatest works included 'In Memoriam', 'The Princess', 'Idylls of the King', 'The Lady of Shalott', 'Maud', and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Written about a suicidal mission by the British in the Crimean War, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' was read by Tennyson near the end of his life. It was recorded for posterity, when sound recording was in its infancy.
John Masefield (1878-1967), Poet Laureate 1930-67
John Masefield had an eventful life, running away to sea as a boy before becoming a poet. His life at sea inspired much of his work, including 'Salt-Water Ballads'. His 'Sea Fever' is arguably the most famous poem about the sea ever written. Masefield's 'The Box of Delights' showed his ability to write enduring children's stories, too. In his long time as poet laureate, Masefield witnessed World War Two, Europe being divided into east and west, the Cold War, and the space race.
John Betjeman (1906-84), Poet Laureate 1972-84
John Betjeman was one of Britain's most popular poets of all-time. He wrote poetry in a way that both the man in the street and intellectuals could connect with, and wrote simply about what he liked and loathed about Britain. It's probably his more savage poems that are best remembered, including 'Slough'.
Ted Hughes (1930-98), Poet Laureate 1984-98
Ted Hughes was as famous for his tempestuous relationship with American poetess Sylvia Plath as he was for his poetry. A Yorkshireman, Hughes' work including powerful, and often grim, imagery. His poetry also often drew on the natural world for inspiration, as in 'The Hawk in the Rain'.
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