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About the poets is one of the most important topics in General English Part for all TNPSC competitive exams.  It is important to know about the poets in the syllabus. All through the years this has been an integral part of the Tnpsc examinations. And this shall also be helpful for other competitive examination preparations.


i) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

ii) Rabindranath Tagore

iii) Anne Louisa Walker

iv) V K Gokak

v) Douglas Malloch

vi) Walt Whitman

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), the great American poet, was a professor at Harvard. His great fame began with the publication of his first volume of poems ‘Voices of the Night’ in 1839, which included “A Psalm of Life,” one of nineteenth century’s best-loved
poems. His other collections include Ballads (1841), Evangeline (1847), Hiawatha (1855),The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858) and Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863). Longfellow was the most popular poet of his age and during his life time he became a ‘national institution’. “His work was musical, mildly romantic, high-minded, and flavoured with sentimental preachment” (Norton Anthology of American Literature).

As we remember Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary, we recall his contribution towards Indian writing in English. A Bengali poet, novelist and educator, he won the Nobel Prize far Literature in 1913 which was followed by a series of titles and awards during his career.

Annie Louisa Walker (1836-1907), British-born novelist, children’s playwright and poet, was educated in Ontario, where she and her sisters operated a school for ladies. Walker published poetry widely in newspapers on both sides of the border before collecting them in ‘Leaves from the Backwoods’ in 1861-62. She returned to England to work for her cousin,Margaret Oliphant, a well-known novelist, and edited her ‘Autobiography and Letters’in 1899,under her married name, Mrs. Harry Coghill. She collected her poetic output in ‘Oak and Maple: English and Canadian Verses.’

VK Gokak, a famous novelist and poet in Kannada and a professor of English, wrote and published poetry in English as well.

Douglas Malloch was an American poet, short story writer and Associate editor of American Lumberman, a trade paper in Chicago. He became known as a “Lumberman’s poet” both locally and nationally.

Born on May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was the second son of Walter Whitman, a house-builder, and Louisa Van Velsor. At the age of twelve Whitman began to learn the printer’s trade, and fell in love with the written word. Largely self-taught, he read voraciously,becoming acquainted with the Bible and the works of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. In 1936, at the age of 17, he began his career as a teacher in Long Island. He continued to teach until 1841, when he turned to journalism as a full-time career. He founded a weekly
newspaper, Long Islander. During 1850 – 1855 he focussed, on his own poetic work “Leaves of Grass”, and continued to write. He died at the age of 72 in 1892.

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