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Charles Wolfe

b. 1791 d. 1823

Charles Wolfe was an Irish priest and poet who is best remembered for this extremely popular elegy, which has appeared in many anthologies of poetry throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

John Wilmot Earl of Rochester

b. 1647 d. 1680

John Wilmot was born in 1647, the son of Henry Wilmot, a celebrated Royalist who had led the cavalry at the Battle of Edgehill.

Oscar Wilde

b. 1854 d. 1900

Wilde’s imprisonment for homosexuality in 1895 ended a spectacularly successful career. Although he lived for a few more years in exile in France after his release and produced some moving poetry, his life was effectively over.

Phyllis Wheatley

b. 1753 d. 1784

Phillis Wheatley was the first US slave to publish a book of poems. Born in Africa in about 1753 and shipped as an 8 year old child to the Boston Slave Market, she was purchased by John Wheatley to be a personal servant for his wife, Susanna.

Thomas Wyatt

b. 1503 d. 1542

Thomas Wyatt was born in 1504. His father was a Lancastrian, imprisoned and tortured near the end of the Wars of the Roses in the reign of Richard III, then promoted to high office by Henry VII.

Walt Whitman

b. 1819 d. 1892

At various times, Walt Whitman was a teacher, a journalist, a government official and a clerk. He also spent a significant period in his life working in the hospitals of the American Civil War, and witnessed the acute suffering of casualties.

William Wordsworth

b. 1770 d. 1850

Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth, Cumbria, in 1770, the son of an attorney.