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Poetry Guide: National Poets

Many nations have adopted a poet who is perceived to represent the identity, beliefs and principles of their culture. This person, whether officially or by popular acclaim, is often referred to as the national poet or national bard. Many are historical figures, whereas others are still writing today. Some nations have more than one national poet.

There follows a list of nations. Note that this is not a list of sovereign states or countries, although many of the nations listed may also be states or countries. The words nation (cultural), country (geographical) and state (political) are not synonymous.

List of national poets


The French language has a number of sobriquets to denote the origin of various literary languages. Many of these writers may be considered as the bard of their nation, even if they were primarily dramatists or prose writers.