More on (in) Poets’ Corner

Poets’ Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the good number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there.

The first person to be interred in Poets’ Corner was Geoffrey Chaucer in 1556. . .  Most recently commemorated, on 6 December 2011, with a floor stone, was Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.[2] On 22 November 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of his death, writer C. S. Lewis will be next to be commemorated.[3]

Others honored by plaques or busts in the Corner–this isn’t Wikipedia now, this is me–include some of my favorite authors (I’m an English Lit major): Auden, Austen, Blake, Bronte (Charlotte, Anne, and Emily), Browning (Robert and Elizabeth), Lewis Carroll, Coleridge, Eliot (George and T.S.), Gaskell, Hardy, Herrick, Hopkins, Keats, Kipling, Longfellow, Milton, Shakespeare, Shelley (Keats, Shelley–no Byron?*), Spenser, Tennyson, Wordsworth–and even musicians such as George Friderick Handel.

Such a luscious litany of literary luminaries! Lewis will be pleased to be included. What eloquent colloquies, what scintillating interlocutions they must indulge in when they are all alone and lights are low.

For a complete list, see

*The lilt which circulates among lit majors is “Byron and Shelley and Keats/Shelley and Byron and Keats/Byron and Shelley and Shelley and Byron/Byron and Shelley and Keats.”


About Jessica Renshaw
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3 Responses to More on (in) Poets’ Corner

  1. tedrey says:

    Byron is there, but his placement there was quite tardy; it took the Anglican Church 145 years to forgive “his scandalous lifestyle.”

  2. Jessica says:

    Oh, there he is. I missed the comment about him above the lists and didn’t recognize the “George Gordon” ahead of the “Byron.”

  3. I am surprised at the inclusion of Handel. I know he wrote lyrics as well as composed music but am still surprised. He was comissioned to write the Messiah. Maybe that is why. Just a curiosity to me. I studied him extensively about a year ago when someone asked me about the Messiah and I did not know the answer.

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