Meet The Masters Of Romanticism: 11+ Poets You Should Know

The Romantic era was an exciting time in the history of poetry. From this period, the writers and poets had various styles, but they all shared one commonality: their emphasis on personal feeling and emotion. 

This is why Romantic poetry often tends to be more emotional than other types of poetry. This article will examine 11 famous poets from the Romantic era that you should know about!

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The Romantic Era of Poetry was an exceptional time for poetry. With the Industrial Revolution and scientific advancements, many poets explored new ways to express themselves through their words. The Romantics revolutionised what it meant to be an artist in this century with their rebellion against society and strict traditions. 

The Romantics rejected the idea of a cultured society and sought to have true individuality. They wanted their work to be unique, without any constraints. The poets in this era were not afraid to break the rules or abandon certain traditions that had been around for centuries. 

They wrote about themselves and their feelings, often using natural imagery or symbolism to create an emotional response from readers. Romanticism also emphasised imagination more than any other period before it had. Some key figures for this movement were William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Shelley (among others). 

Together they helped shape a new idea of what makes good poetry by focusing on how well poems can make people feel instead of relying solely on formality as previous generations did. This change created room for later writers who could now write without feeling constrained by traditional rules leading to many new forms of poetry.

William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

The Romantic era was a time of experimentation, and for some poets, it meant writing about the natural world. One such poet is William Wordsworth, who wrote extensively on nature in his poetry. His poems often focused on feelings of awe or contemplation inspired by nature. He also helped to establish the idea that poets should write only about subjects they understand deeply and from personal experience, which is now known as “the poetic principle.”

Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland. He was the youngest of five children and had a sister Dorothy who he grew up with, and they would often write poetry together. 

Wordsworth’s father died when he was only eight years old, so his mother took care of him until she remarried. Growing up without a father figure caused William to be introverted as a child and allowed him to have ample time for reading. 

As an adult, Wordsworth became one of the most important poets in English literature with notable works including “The Prelude,” “Lyrical Ballads”, and “The Excursion.

Wordsworth was a Romantic poet who used nature to reflect society. He believed that poetry should express one’s thoughts and feelings rather than simply imitating external reality.

He is most famous for his poem “Daffodils”, which has been translated into many languages and remains one of the most famous poems in English literature to this day.

John Keats

John Keats

John Keats was a famous poet who lived from 1795-1821. He is best known for his poetry and plays, but he had many other interests as well. One of the most notable pieces of work by John Keats is Ode on a Grecian Urn, which discusses how an artefact can be both beautiful and capable of capturing life at the moment forever.

This idea laid the groundwork for romantic era poets to explore their emotions more freely than before, as they were now able to capture them in words that would last long after they are gone. Even though he only lived to be 25 years old, Keats made an everlasting impact on English literature. He also had a deep interest in medicine and would often talk to his friends about the future of medical science.

His family life wasn’t ideal – his father died when John was nine years old. His mother remarried shortly after that to an abusive man named Thomas Quincey, who eventually became addicted to opium and alcohol. It’s no wonder then that as he grew up, Keats found solace through reading books from authors like Shakespeare and Milton; these were some of the only people he could identify with at the time.

John wrote pieces such as “Ode to a Nightingale” and “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”. These two poems are prime examples of John Keats’ unique verse.

John wrote lines that were so passionate, raw, and full of emotion – they’re what made him one of the most famous poets during his period. His writing style helped define the romantic era in poetry forever. He also used metaphors quite often in his work; this is how he would paint pictures for readers with just words on paper that seemed like something out of someone else’s dream or imagination.

Lord Byron
Lord Byron

Lord Byron

The Romantic Era was a time of significant change in the world. It began in the early 1800s and lasted through much of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution had occurred, which led to an increase in population, poverty, and pollution. Additionally, advances in science and technology also took place during that time.

Many poets sought refuge from society’s problems throughout this era by retreating into their imaginations or nature for inspiration. One such poet is Lord Byron (1788-1824). His poetry often focused on themes like death or isolation as he struggled with his demons while trying to cope with societal changes occurring around him.

His poems were widely read and translated into many languages because they captured emotions like anger, betrayal, love, and revenge.

Although Lord Byron died long before the tragic events surrounding World War I (1914- 1918), his poems are often interpreted in one way or another by readers who think about wars that take place during their time.

During this century, the Industrial Revolution had led to increased population, poverty, pollution, and advances in science/technology. Poets at this time needed refuge for inspiration, so they looked inward, whereas Lord Byron looked outwards.

Lord Byron’s poetry led to a more personal exploration, which became known as the Romantic Era and resulted in many poets expressing themselves through their own emotions rather than referencing classical texts or historical events.

He had an unconventional lifestyle because he lived off his writing income with only occasional help from family members and friends who were aware of how unstable he was emotionally. He also travelled extensively during this period to avoid boredom and find inspiration for his work.

Although not all poets within the Romantic era followed suit by living such a free lifestyle, Lord Byron is often seen as one of its most influential figures since so much of what we know about him has come to light through his writing.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge is most well known for his short poems, “Kubla Khan” and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” He also published an influential book on poetry called Biographia Literata in 1817.

Coleridge is often seen as one of the founders of modernism because he combined classical poetic form with intense emotional content from his own life experience. This style made him popular among many different types of readers who could relate to his ideas about love, nature, imagination, politics, religion or society. 

Coleridge was born on October 21, 1772, and died July 25, 1834, at age 61. He had a significant impact on his contemporaries as well as future artists. In addition to being a poet, he also wrote essays, criticism and translations.

He was a child prodigy and learned to read by age three. After attending grammar school, he went on to earn degrees in the classics from Cambridge University.

– While still at Eton College, Coleridge was introduced to George Dyer (a fellow student) who had been exiled due to high treason during the French Revolution. The two friends exchanged letters while apart, including their thoughts on politics, religion, and other topics outside their schooling studies that interested them, including literature such as Shakespeare’s plays.

– His poems were published in various literary journals, including The Morning Post, which helped him gain notoriety as one of England’s most famous poets during the 1800s Romantic era.

Percy Bysshe Shelly
Percy Bysshe Shelly

Percy Bysshe Shelly

Percy Bysshe Shelly was born in 1792 and died just five years after publishing his most famous work, “Ode to the West Wind.” He is best known for being one of the main contributors to the romantic era. Shelly was also an atheist, and his work challenged many religious views during this time.

He influenced poets such as Lord Byron, John Keats, and William Wordsworth, who continued writing after Percy’s death in 1822. His poetry can be seen throughout later works by these authors and is still studied today.

“Ode to a West Wind.” was written for a friend named Richard Holmes, whom he had just met but already admired greatly because they shared philosophical interests that were considered controversial at the time, including atheism. It follows three stanzas with identical rhyme schemes: abab cdcd efef gg, which is not traditional English verse forms typically used until Percy devised then-they.

The poem has a hopeful tone which contrasts with the more negative and cynical views of life at that time in England due to their religious wars from 1642-1649, among other things. He’s presenting an argument for change by using “west wind” as his metaphor. The first stanza defines what he means when he calls someone who isn’t yet old but is already tired of living a “wanderer.” 

One could make the case that Shelly was also this kind of person himself because there are poems written later on where it seems like he gets off track or starts talking about something else altogether (which would be one reason why some people find him difficult). This reflects how most poets felt during this era because the romantic period was a time of turmoil and change.

The poem also argues for individualism, as well as free will. Shelly says that one should be able to do whatever they want in life without being judged by society so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else’s freedom too much- a type of “live and let live” philosophy relevant today.

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

Robert Burns

Robert Burns is a well known Scottish poet who has influenced many people over the years. Often called “The Bard of Ayrshire,” he was born on January 25, 1759, in Alloway, Scotland and died on July 21, 1796, at just 37 years old. His work has been an inspiration to poets for more than two centuries, and his poetry helped shape the romantic era from about 1800 to 1900.

Burns is remembered as a national hero in Scotland, where he is known as Rabbie Burns. He wrote many poems that are still popular today. His writing was mainly in Scottish dialect, and many of his works were based on a rural life where he often wrote about the ploughing, planting, harvesting and reaping seasons, and country fairs.

Most people know Robert Burns for one or two specific works such as “Auld Lang Syne” or “To A Mouse.” But he also wrote other great pieces like “Tam O’Shanter,” which is considered to be his most famous poem outside of Scotland.

William Blake
William Blake

William Blake

William Blake was an English poet, painter and printmaker. He is regarded as a titan in the history of both poetry and art for his revolutionary work. His most famous works include Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Book of Urizen, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (Blake’s Prophetic Books), Milton: A Poem in Two Parts; His Divine Comedy; America: A Prophecy; Europe: A Prophecy.

William Blake was born on Nov. 28, 1757, in London to James and Catherine Blake. His mother died shortly after his birth. He went into the care of a family friend at an early age, which meant that William never knew his father (although it has been speculated that William’s father could be artist Henry Fuseli). 

He attended drawing school with the philosopher John Flaxman. They both studied engraving under Joseph Wright; this is how he developed such unique etchings as The Ancient of Days and Job Illustrations. This led him down a path towards poetry – or instead what we would now call “prose poems” – writing them for many years without even showing anyone his work until 1807 when word got out that he was the author of Songs of Innocence, which were poems for children.

His early work was mainly influenced by his favourite poet William Wordsworth, and in turn, this led to a lot of influence on their friends John Keats and Percy Shelley. His paintings have been connected with even more significant poets from these times – such as William Blake’s etching The Ghost of a Flea inspired Byron’s poem “The Dream.”

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin’s work has left an impact on literature that is still felt to this day. He was a Russian poet and playwright who wrote some of the most romantic poetry in history, ultimately becoming his legacy.

Some of Pushkin’s famous pieces include “The Bronze Horseman”, “Eugene Onegin”, and “Ruslan and Ludmila”. His poems often contained deep themes about love, death, nature and social satire. This style would later be adapted by other poets such as Lord Byron (poet), who Alexander Pushkin heavily influenced.

Pushkin had a significant influence on the Romantic period using language full of imagery that invoked strong emotions from readers. His writing style also made it easier for ordinary people to understand the meaning behind his work, rather than it being an exclusive art form.

This is evident in “Ruslan and Ludmila” when he speaks of the great sorrow that takes over a girl’s life after marrying her prince; this was often a common theme in poetry at this time as women were beginning to be seen as equals with men through marriage. This poem also tells us about Pushkin’s view on nature which can be described as deep appreciation or love of natural things.

Pushkin had such an impact because he used everyday language while still maintaining complex ideas and imagery, something many poets before him hadn’t been able to do.

Adam Mickiewicz

Adam Mickiewicz was born on November 24, 1798, in Lithuania. He is most well known for his epic poem Pan Tadeusz. This poem has been called “the Polish national epic”, and it tells the story of a nobleman who returns home to find his estate ruined, his family dispersed and himself at the mercy of an invading Russian army.

Mickiewicz’s work was instrumental for developing modern literary languages in Eastern Europe; not only did he write poetry in French (his mother tongue), but he also translated it into Polish and wrote some poems in Russian. 

Known for his use of patriotism, nationalism, and philosophical themes, his works are considered some of the most important in all Polish literature. Although his work was not well known in his homeland during his lifetime, he eventually became one of Poland’s national heroes.

Adam Mickiewicz’s poetry helped shape this new way of thinking by giving people something beautiful and powerful to believe in when there wasn’t anything else left for them. He wrote about the beauty of nature, how much he loved his country, and even wrote about God Himself!

Francesco Hayez

Francesco Hayez was a painter during the Romantic Era. He is often considered one of the most important painters because he used his paintings to express his feelings and thoughts about society, human nature, and relationships. He also wrote poetry written in Italian but translated into English to be read by more people today.

The first poem is called “Andrea da Barberino”, which talks about Andrea, who loved Gabriella who did not love him back. This story is interesting as it shows what happened when someone falls in love with another person who does not return their affections or feelings for them-which occurs quite frequently in today’s society.

The second poem is called “Alberto, the Lover”, which talks about Alberto who finds himself in love with a woman that has found herself an older and richer man instead of him. This story shows how tough it can be when we cannot have what we want, and we just need to keep persisting until luck comes our way!

The last poem is called “Io di Girolamo”. It tells us about Girolamo, who falls in love with three women, but they do not return his affections, so he decides to go on living without them by his side because life would be too painful if you did not have anyone at all.”

His paintings were often of scenes from nature, which became popular during this time. He also wrote poetry that captured the love for nature, as well as sad moments in life.

Ugo Foscolo

Ugo Foscolo is an Italian poet from the 1800s. His poetry was an enormous influence in the early Romantic era, and his work was translated into English by Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s wife. 

He had a tumultuous life, but he still managed to produce some of Italy’s most enduring poems, like “The Sepulchre of Dante Alighieri”, which discusses how Ugo Foscolo would love to be laid next to Dante Alighieri in one grave.

In “The Sepulchre of Dante Alighieri”, Foscolo wrote that he wanted “to lie down among these illustrious corpses.”

Foscolo studied law at university but soon left to take up arms with Napoleon’s army. He served as a military commander, then turned back to study literature in Paris before returning to Italy, where he became involved in politics. 

In 1807, after serving as secretary of war for Napoleonic Italy, he died suddenly from cholera while travelling through Switzerland. His most famous work, “Dei Sepolcri” (On Tombs), provides a snapshot of his life at that time. The tone is reflective and mournful while still hopeful for the future.

Foscolo will always be remembered for his contribution to the Romantic Era and his influence on many writers after him.


The Romantic era was a notable turning point for literature and culture. The poets of this time were incredibly influential to both English and European cultures in many ways. They made their mark on society with words and actions by spreading ideas about nationalism, individualism, revolution, and romantic love. 

It is impossible to fully understand what it meant to be alive during this time without understanding how these 11 poets impacted history so profoundly. Here’s a closer look at the historical timeline of poetry from ancient times to the present.