LONDON (Reuters) - T.S. Eliot has been voted Britain’s favorite poet in an online BBC poll to mark National Poetry Day, the broadcaster said on Thursday.
The U.S.-born writer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, narrowly beat John Donne, who in turn was closely followed by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Eliot was one of the 20th century’s most important poets who captured the post-war sense of loss in “The Waste Land” and on the eve of World War Two he produced “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats,” the inspiration for the musical “Cats.”
Born in 1888, Eliot studied at Harvard and went on to teach at Oxford. England became his home for the rest of his life, and in London he met poet Ezra Pound who, with Eliot, had a prominent role in the Modernist movement.
Also on Tuesday, Scottish poet Don Paterson won the 10,000-pound Forward Poetry Prize for his anthology “Rain.”
The top 10 poets in the BBC poll were:
1. T.S. Eliot
2. John Donne
3. Benjamin Zephaniah
4. Wilfred Owen
5. Philip Larkin
6. William Blake
7. William Butler Yeats
8. John Betjeman
9. John Keats
10. Dylan Thomas
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato