World Poetry Day: Five Poets You Must Read

March 21 is observed as World Poetry Day, each year. The date was settled upon in 1999, by UNESCO, at the 30th General Conference in Paris, where the need to support poetic expression across languages, particularly those that are endangered, was stressed upon. To this day, March 21 is celebrated as World Poetry Day to honour the poets.

If you want to celebrate World Poetry Day, all you can do is either read poems of well-known poets. Here is a list of five poets whose works one must not miss.

Jibanananda Das

One of the most influential poets who wrote in the Bengali, Das’s modernist poetry is a must-read for those who wish to discover Bengali poetry beyond the works of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Poems like Banalata Sen, Banglar Mukh and Abar Ashibo Phire are among his famous works. Das was reclusive and a large volume of his works was not discovered until after his death.


Kalidasa is considered the greatest Sanskrit poet in ancient India. He is known for his two epic poems Kumārasambhava and Raghuvamśa. The former is a devotional poem about the goddess Parvati’s life with Shiva and son Kartikeya, while the latter deals with royals of the Raghu dynasty. Kalidasa is also known for his minor poems Meghadūta and Ṛtusamhāra.

Bhanubhakta Acharya

The 10th-century writer from Nepal is considered to be the first poet from the country. His birthday is celebrated as Bhanu Jayanti. His poems like Ghanshi, about a poor grass cutter he met, and Bhakta Maala, Kantipuri Nagari and Ram Gita, are among his well-known poems. The first translation of the Ramayana to Nepali was done by him.

Joy Harjo

She is the first United States Poet Laureate from the Native American community. She uses the medium of poetry to tell her story and that of her community. Some of her popular poetry collections include She Had Some Horses, An American Sunshine, My House is the Red Earth and Grace among others.

Ocean Vuong

The Vietnamese-American poet writes about his childhood in Vietnam and the Vietnam War. He won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2017 for Night Sky with Exit Wounds (2016). His other poems include Trevor, Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong, and Scavengers among others.