24 July 2008

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

Did you know that Plath was not the only poet to pass away in 1963? A number of prominent poets passed away that year. These include:

Robert Frost - January 29, 1963
Sylvia Plath - February 11, 1963
William Carlos Williams - March 4, 1963
Theodore Roethke - August 1, 1963
Louis MacNiece - September 3, 1963
Jean Cocteau - October 11, 1963

The 1960s could be considered the decade of death for poetry. Other prominent (or "notable") poets who passed away in that decade are:

1961: H. D.
1962: e.e. cummings and Robinson Jeffers
1964: Edith Sitwell
1965: T. S. Eliot and Randall Jarrell
1966: Anna Akhmatova, Frank O'Hara, Delmore Schwartz
1967: Langston Hughes, John Masefield, and Siegfried Sassoon
1968: Donald Davidson

Soap box: For anyone who read the comments to my posting of 16 July 2008, in dissing the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Mr. Bradford says, "I believe that after the death fo robert Frost, poetry went rapidly downhill." His remarks (both in the comments of my blog and on his own blog) are hardly worth considering; however, there could be merit to his belief, particularly as so many very well-known poets passed away in that decade. In a way poetry literally died. Of the poets that died in the 1960s, Plath was by far the least well-known at the time of her death. This of course has flipped, as for all the poets on the list, few are now as well-known (though all, clearly are still read, loved, taught, considered, etc.).

Poetry evolves, though, and that what keeps the it always contemporary.

Primary source for the above list is the Notable Names Database. Poet's Graves is a valuable website for learning where poets are buried. Many of the poets on this list are featured.

1 comment :

Wendy Ragiste said...

"The 1960s could be considered the decade of death for poetry."

Quite a list, but I'm sure the same could be said about any decade.

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