A Timeline of Poetry in English

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A poetry timeline grouped by years showing significant historical and poetical events, births and deaths and floruit of poets, touchstone poems, poetry awards and poems about poems. Timeline can be filtered by types of events and historical categories.

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  • ROMAN LEGIONS LEAVE BRITAIN
  • ANGLO-SAXONS INVADE BRITAIN
  • BATTLE OF CAMLAN: ARTHUR, A ROMANO-BRITON LEADER, KILLED
  • AUGUSTINE LEAVES ROME AS MISSIONARY TO BRITAIN
  • Caedmon, an uneducated herdsman, about this date discovers that he can extemporaneously utter poetry at the newly-founded monastery at Strenæshalc (Whitby) and makes verses on creation. He is the first known poet and this the first known poem in English. Inspired Denise Levertov's "Caedmon" (1987)
  • Cynewulf writes and signs four Anglo-Saxon poems: Christ II, Elene, The Fates of the Apostles, and Juliana.
  • About this time runic extracts from The Dream of the Rood are carved on the Ruthwell Cross.
  • The Venerable Bede's "Death Song"
  • ALFRED, KING OF ENGLAND (-899)
  • Deor, a scop, writes a poem of consolation, probably in this century
  • The battle of Brunanburh, at which King Athelstan defeated the Scots, is celebrated in a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
  • EDWY (-957)
  • Period of the making of the four great poetry manuscripts: the Junius MS, the Vercelli Book, the Exeter Book, and the Beowulf MS. The Beowulf can be dated as early as 680.
  • EDGAR (-975)
  • EDWARD THE MARTYR (-978)
  • ETHELRED (-1013)
  • "The Battle of Maldon," a poem on the fight between the English and the Danes in 991, translated by Emily Henrietta Hickey (1880)
  • SWEGN FORKBEARD (-1014)
  • EDMUND IRONSIDE (-1016); CNUT (-1035)
  • HAROLD HAREFOOT (-1040)
  • HARTHACNUT (-1042)
  • EDWARD THE CONFESSOR (-1066)
  • HAROLD GODWINSON (-1066); DEFEATED BY WILLIAM OF NORMANDY ON OCT. 14 (-1087)
  • WILLIAM II (-1100)
  • Layamon, late 12th cent. author of Brut, a 32,000-line poem.
  • HENRY I (-1135)
  • STEPHEN (-1154)
  • HENRY II (-1189)
  • Wace's Anglo-Norman Roman de Brut (?)
  • Period of Walter Map, Anglo-Latin poet
  • Thomas of Britain's Anglo-Norman Tristan
  • Wace's Anglo-Norman Roman de Rou (?)
  • RICHARD I (-1199)
  • JOHN (-1216)
  • HENRY III (-1272)
  • Guillaume de Lorris composed the first 4,000 lines of the Roman de la Rose
  • The Owl and the Nightingale, an amusing verse debate probably written by Nicholas of Guildford about this time
  • Dante Alighieri
  • EDWARD I (-1307)
  • Jean de Meun extends Roman de la Rose by over 17,500 lines
  • Dame Sirith (?)
  • Huchown
  • Two romances, Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton, were composed about this time.
  • Richard Rolle (?)
  • Dante's Divina Commedia
  • EDWARD II (-1327)
  • ROBERT BRUCE DEFEATS EDWARD II AT BANNOCKBURN
  • Lyrics from British Library Harley 2253, including "Alysoun" and "Lenten ys come with love to toune."
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Cursor Mundi, a verse history of the world in about 24,000 lines.
  • EDWARD III (-1377)
  • John Gower(?); William Langland (ca. 1325); John Barbour (ca.).
  • Sir Orfeo, a romance (?)
  • Richard Rolle
  • Boccaccio's Decameron
  • Andrew Wyntoun (Scotland) (ca.)
  • Wynnere and Wastoure
  • Henry Scogan (?)
  • ENGLISH REPLACES FRENCH IN PARLIAMENT AND LAW COURTS
  • Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess (ca. 1368-72, remembering the death of John of Gaunt's wife, Blanche)
  • Thomas Hoccleve (ca. 1367)
  • John Gower writes his Mirour de l'Omme, or Speculum Meditantis, about 1376-79.
  • John Barbour (Scotland) writes The Bruce, a verse chronicle of about 13,000 lines (1372-75).
  • RICHARD II (-1399)
  • A-text of Langland's Piers Plowman is written after 1370.
  • John Gower's Vox Clamantis is written about 1379-81.
  • Works of the so-called Gawain poet, containing Pearl, Patience, Cleanness, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from British Library manuscript Cotton Nero A.x
  • John Wyclif translates the Bible (?), into English.
  • B-text of Langland's Piers Plowman about 1381
  • Wyclif
  • John Gower's Confessio Amantis is published at this time in its first version.
  • William Langland (ca.1390)
  • Sir John Clanvow, supposed author of The Book of Cupid, whose two characters are the cuckoo and the nightingale.
  • John Barbour
  • Pierce the Ploughmans Crede
  • HENRY IV (-1413)
  • The alliterative Morte Arthure (?)
  • Sir Launfal, by Thomas Chestre
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (Oct. 25)
  • Henry Scogan
  • Henry Scogan's "Moral Balade" (ca. 1406-07)
  • John Lydgate's Troy Book, written about 1412-20 (commissioned by Prince Henry Oct 31, 1412)
  • HENRY V (-1422)
  • John Lydgate's The Siege of Thebes, written about 1420-22
  • Andrew Wyntoun completed his Original Chronicle
  • HENRY VI (-1461, 1470-71; RPO)
  • Andrew Wyntoun (ca.)
  • John Lydgate's The Life of Our Lady (ca. 1421-22)
  • Robert Henryson (a master of arts by 1462)
  • John Lydgate's The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man, a translation of Guillaume de Deguileville's Pèleringe, written about 1426-28
  • Thomas Hoccleve
  • John Lydgate's The Fall of Princes, written about 1431-39, 36, 365 lines, based on Laurent de Premierfait's version (in French) of Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium
  • Henry the Minstrel, otherwise known as "Blind Hary" (Scotland).
  • John Lydgate (ca. 1449-50)
  • Sir Richard Holland's The Buke of the Howlat.
  • RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK, DEFEATS HENRY VI AT ST. ALBANS ON MAY 22, THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR OF THE ROSES
  • Walter Kennedy (ca.)
  • EDWARD IV (-1469, 1471-83), BATTLE OF TOWTON
  • Henry VI
  • BATTLES OF BARNET AND TEWKESBURY
  • CAXTON PRINTS THE FIRST BOOK IN ENGLAND
  • Stephen Hawes (ca.)
  • Peter Idley (?)
  • The Floure and the Leaf composed (?)
  • Gavin Douglas (ca.); Henry Parker Morley, lord
  • Thomas More
  • William Caxton prints Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (?)
  • Richard Holland (in or after)
  • EDWARD V (-1483); RICHARD III (-1485)
  • William Caxton prints John Gower's Confessio Amantis and Chaucer's House of Fame
  • William Caxton prints Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
  • Alexander Barclay (ca.)
  • HENRY TUDOR DEFEATS RICHARD III ON BOSWORTH FIELD; HENRY VII (-1509)
  • Sir David Lindsay (Scotland) (ca.)
  • Blind Hary's The Actis and Deidis of the Illuster and Vailzeand Campioun Schir William Wallace by 1488
  • COLUMBUS DISCOVERS SAN SALVADOR ON OCT. 12
  • "Blind Hary" (in or after)
  • Robert Henryson composed The Testament of Cresseid by this date when G. Myll refers to it
  • John Skelton made laureate by the University of Louvain (ca.)
  • JOHN CABOT DISCOVERS NEWFOUNDLAND
  • John Heywood (ca. 1496-97)
  • John Skelton's The Bowge of Courte composed (ca.)
  • The Assembly of the Gods (anon.; published)
  • Stephen Hawes' Example of Virtue written for Henry VII (1503-04)
  • William Dunbar's The Thrissill and the Rois composed
  • Henry, son of Henry VII, becomes the Prince of Wales
  • Sir Thomas Wyatt
  • Robert Henryson (before 1505)
  • Alexander Barclay's Castle of Labour (?)
  • William Dunbar's The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis, The Goldyn Targe, The Lament for the Makaris, and The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen composed by this time.
  • William Dunbar's poems are published in Edinburgh
  • Walter Kennedy (?).
  • HENRY VIII (-1547)
  • Alexander Barclay's Ship of Fools
  • Stephen Hawes' Pastime of Pleasure published
  • Henry Tudor is married to Catherine of Aragon on June 11 and succeeds his father Henry VII on Aug. 21 as Henry VIII
  • Thomas Vaux, 2nd baron Vaux of Harrowden; William Gray of Reading
  • Stephen Hawes' Confort of Lovers composed (ca. 1510-11)
  • Gavin Douglas completes his translation of Eneados , Virgil's Æneid
  • William Dunbar (?), perhaps at Flodden Field
  • DEFEAT OF SCOTS AT THE BATTLE OF FLODDEN
  • Alexander Barclay's five eclogues (ca. 1513-14)
  • Dr. D. Cooper, active at the court of Henry VIII
  • Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (ca. 1516-17)
  • John Skelton wrote "Elynour Rummynge" about Alianora Romyng of Leatherhead, Surrey (ca.)
  • Nicholas Grimald (ca. 1519-20)
  • William Cecil (?); William Bullokar (ca.)
  • John Skelton's "Speke Parott" satirizes Cardinal Wolsey (ca.); and his "Collyn Clout" (ca. 1521-22)
  • Anne Askew (ca.)
  • John Skelton's "Why Come Ye Not to Court?" attacks Cardinal Wolsey (Nov.)
  • Gavin Douglas
  • John Skelton's The Garlande of Laurell published (Oct. 23)
  • Alexander Barclay's first Eclogue
  • Thomas Churchyard (?)
  • Thomas Whithorne (ca.)
  • Sir David Lindsay's "Dreme" (ca.)
  • Thomas Norton (ca. 1530-32)
  • Sir David Lindsay's "Complaynt" and "The Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lordis Papyngo"
  • Alexander Barclay's first three eclogues published in 1530
  • W. Thynne edits Chaucer's works and The Book of the Duchess and The Legend of Good Women for the first time.
  • Ariosto's Orlando Furioso
  • HENRY VIII SECRETLY MARRIES ANNE BOLEYN
  • Elizabeth Tudor, later Elizabeth I
  • Sir Thomas More, executed
  • Arthur Golding (ca. 1535-36)
  • Thomas Sackville, 1st earl of Dorset (ca.)
  • ANNE BOLEYN EXECUTED
  • Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, develops blank verse 1537-46 in his translation of the Aeneid, Books 2-6
  • Barnabe Googe; Isabella Whitney
  • Hugh Rhodes
  • William Byrd (ca. 1539-43); Sir Edward Dyer; George Turberville (ca. 1543-44)
  • John Heywood's verse proverbs
  • Giles Fletcher the elder (baptized)
  • Anne Askew, burned at Smithfield; William Thynne (Aug. 10)
  • EDWARD VI (-1553)
  • Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, executed by Henry VIII by decapitation; Henry VIII
  • John Bale's Illustrium Majoris Britanniae Scriptorum Summarium, biographical entries on major British writers
  • John Bellenden or Bannatyne (ca. 1545-48)
  • R. Wever devises Lusty Juventus about 1549-53
  • Sir Thomas Wyatt's Certayne Psalmes, an English translation of part of the Biblical psalms.
  • Alexander Montgomerie (Scotland) (early 1550s)
  • Francis Seager
  • Thomas Churchyard's A Mirror for Man
  • Edmund Spenser (?)
  • Alexander Barclay
  • Gabriel Harvey (ca. 1552-53)
  • JANE (-1553); MARY I (-1558)
  • Gavin Douglas' translation of Virgil's Æneid, published posthumously
  • William Stevenson about this year wrote Gammer Gurton's Needle
  • Thomas Wilson's Art of Rhetoric
  • Fulke Greville, 1st baron Brooke; John Lyly (?); Sir Philip Sidney, on Nov. 30; Walter Ralegh (ca.); Stephen Gosson (baptized)
  • Henry Howard's translation of book IV of Virgil's Æneid published about this time.
  • John Heywood's Epigrams
  • Nicholas Breton (ca. 1554-55); Richard Carew of Anthony; Thomas Watson (ca. 1555-56)
  • Sir David Lindsay; Robert Smith
  • John Heywood's The Spider and the Fly
  • George Peele, baptized; Thomas Morley (ca. 1556-57)
  • Henry Parker Morley, lord; Thomas Vaux, 2nd baron Vaux of Harrowden (RPO)
  • Songes and Sonettes by...Lorde Henry Haward...and other (Richard Tottel's miscellany) including Nicholas Grimald's innovations in heroic couplets and blank verse
  • The translation by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, of books II and IV of Virgil's Æneid is published.
  • Thomas Tusser's Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie
  • Tottel's Miscellany
  • William Gray of Reading is active about this time.
  • Sir Arthur Gorges (ca.)
  • The Mirror of Magistrates, with 20 tragic tales; enlarged repeatedly until 1609
  • George Chapman
  • Anthony Munday, baptized; Sir John Harington (?), baptized
  • Julius Caesar Scaliger's poetics published in France
  • Mary Herbert, countess of Pembroke; Robert Southwell (?)
  • Henry Constable; Samuel Daniel; Nicholas Grimald
  • Nicholas Grimald (ca.); William Gray of Reading (ca.)
  • Barnabe Googe's Eglogs, Epytaphes, and Sonettes
  • Second edition of The Mirror of Magistrates, including Thomas Sackville's Induction and Complaint
  • John Dowland (ca.); Michael Drayton; Sir Robert Sidney (Philip's younger brother); Joshua Sylvester (?)
  • Thomas Newberry
  • Christopher Marlowe, baptized on Feb. 6; William Shakespeare, baptized on April 26 in Stratford upon Avon parish church
  • Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, books I-IV, published, completed in 1575
  • John Davies (ca. 1564-65); Francis Meres (ca. 1565-66)
  • John Hoskyns; James I of England (James VI of Scotland).
  • Isabella Whitney's The Copy of a Letter (1566-67)
  • Barnabe Barnes' sonnet sequence Parthenophil and Parthenophe
  • Sir John Davies; Emilia Lanyer, née Bassano
  • Sir Robert Aytoun (Scotland); Thomas Bateson (?); Thomas Dekker (?); Samuel Rowlands (?)
  • Rauf Coilyear (late 15th cent. Scot.), published
  • John Donne; Ben Jonson (June 11)
  • George Gascoigne's A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, reissued as Poesies in 1575
  • Isabella Whitney's A Sweet Nosegay
  • George Gascoigne's Certayne notes of instruction concerning the Making of verse or ryme in English names "Poulter's Measure," iambic couplets of 12- and 14-syllable lines
  • John Marston (?); Robert Hayman
  • Richard Edwards' compilation of Paradyse of Dainty Devises
  • George Gascoigne's The Steele glas; his Poesies was confiscated as scandalous
  • Thomas Weelkes (?)
  • Thomas Whethorne's Duos, or, Songs for Two Voices, composed by 1576
  • Thomas Proctor's A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions
  • George Sandys; John Taylor the "water poet" (?)
  • John Heywood (ca.)
  • Stephen Gosson's prose The School of Abuse attacks poets and players
  • Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, in which Hobbinol is Gabriel Harvey
  • John Fletcher
  • Thomas Churchyard's translation of Ovid's Tristia, I-III
  • Thomas Ford (?); Thomas Middleton (baptised); John Webster (ca. 1576-80)
  • John Heywood (?); Isabella Whitney (after); Thomas Tusser
  • Humphrey Gifford's A Posie of Gilloflowers
  • Sir Philip Sidney completes the Old Arcadia and writes his Defence of Poetry or An Apologie for Poetrie 1579-83 (published in 1595), in response to Stephen Gosson's School of Abuse
  • Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil's Aeneid, I-IV
  • Philip Sidney writes Astrophel and Stella about this time: 108 sonnets and 11 songs about his unrequited love for Penelope Rich
  • Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway on November 27
  • Richard Corbet (Corbett); Phineas Fletcher; Edward, lord Herbert of Cherbury (?)
  • Thomas Watson's Hekatompathia
  • Sir Philip Sidney completes the New Arcadia within two years
  • Orlando Gibbons baptized; Aurelian Townshend (ca.); Susanna Shakespeare (baptized May 26)
  • Francis Beaumont (ca.); Sir John Beaumont (ca.)
  • Thomas Norton; Thomas Proctor
  • James VI of Scotland writes Essays of a Prentice in the Arte of Poesie, using the poems of Alexander Montgomerie
  • William Drummond of Hawthornden; Giles Fletcher the younger; Judith and Hamnet Shakespeare (baptized February 2)
  • William Warner's Albions England
  • William Webbe's Discourse of English Poetrie
  • Sir Philip Sidney on Oct. 17, from a war wound; Chidiock Tichborne, hanged, castrated, and disemboweled for Treason
  • Robert Chester (ca.)
  • Lady Mary Sidney Wroth (?); Walter Porter (?)
  • William Byrd's Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs of sadnes and pietie
  • George Wither; John Wilson
  • William Byrd's Songs of Sundrie Natures
  • George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie
  • Humphrey Gifford (?)
  • Thomas Lodge's Rosalynde: Euphues golden legacie
  • George Peele's Polyhymnia
  • Thomas Watson's Italian Madrigals Englished
  • revised version of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia published posthumously
  • Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene, Books I-III
  • William Browne
  • George Puttenham; William Bullokar (ca.)
  • Sir Philip Sidney's "You Gote-heard Gods" by Roseanna Warren's "Lena's House: Watercolor" (1993)
  • Sir John Harrington's translation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, 33, 000 lines
  • Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella
  • Edmund Spenser's Daphnaida and Complaints
  • Robert Herrick (baptized)
  • William Webbe
  • Sir Philip Sidney's "With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies" by Philip Larkin's "Sad Steps" (1974)
  • Samuel Daniel's Delia. Contayning certayne sonnets: with the complaint of Rosamond
  • Joshua Sylvester's translation of The Divine Weeks and Works of Du Bartas, completed in 1608
  • Henry King; Francis Quarles
  • Thomas Watson; Robert Greene
  • John Donne writes the first two satires, most elegies, and some songs and sonnets while at Lincoln's Inn, 1592-94
  • Robert Greene attacks Shakespeare as "an upstart Crow," mocking a line in his 3 Henry VI
  • Henry Constable's sonnet sequence Diana
  • Michael Drayton: Idea: the Shepheards Garland
  • Thomas Morley's Canzonets
  • The Phoenix Nest, compiled by R. S.
  • Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis
  • Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia republished with the three books of the old version
  • George Herbert (April 3)
  • Christopher Marlowe on May 30, murdered, 29 years old
  • George Chapman's The Shadow of Night
  • Michael Drayton's Ideas Mirrour: Amours in Quatorzains
  • R. Carew's translation of Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata
  • Thomas Morley's Canzonets and Madrigalls
  • Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece
  • Barnabe Googe
  • Ben Jonson marries Anne Louis (November 14)
  • Shakespeare is a member of the Lord Chamberlain's men
  • Sir John Davies' Nosce teipsum
  • George Chapman's Ovid's Banquet of Sense
  • Samuel Daniel's Civil Wars between the Two Houses of Lancaster and York, completed in 8 books in 1609.
  • Michael Drayton's Endimion and Phoebe
  • Thomas Morley's Balletts and Canzonets
  • Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesie and sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella posthumously published
  • Edmund Spenser's sonnet sequence "Amoretti," and his wedding poem "Epithalamion," both about Elizabeth Boyle
  • Thomas Carew
  • Robert Southwell, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn (and canonized in 1970)
  • Robert Southwell's St. Peter's Complaint, with Other Poems
  • Sir John Davies' Orchestra or a Poeme of Dauncing
  • Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Books IV-VI, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion
  • James Shirley; Benjamin, son of Ben Jonson
  • George Peele; George Whithorne; Hamnet Shakespeare (August 12)
  • Michael Drayton's Mortimeriados
  • Francis Bacon's Essays, first edition
  • John Dowland: The First Booke of Songes or Ayres
  • Joseph Hall's Virgidemiarum
  • Francis Mere's Palladis Tamia: Wits Treasury, including a critical survey of English writers, such as Shakespeare, his "signed Sonnets among his private friends", and 12 plays
  • George Turberville (after this year)
  • Shakespeare bought New Place in Stratford upon Avon (May)
  • Michael Drayton's England's Heroicale Epistles
  • Richard Barnfield's Lady Pecunia
  • George Chapman's translation of Homer's Iliad, I-II, VII-XI
  • Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander, posthumously published, and completed by George Chapman
  • Alexander Montgomerie; William Cecil (?)
  • Shakespeare acts in Ben Jonson's Sejanus
  • Englands Helicon, an anthology of poems, including Christopher Marlowe's "Come live with me and be my love"
  • Thomas Morley: First Booke of Ayres
  • Thomas Nashe: Summers Last Will and Testament (play)
  • John Dowland: Second Booke of Songs
  • Christopher Marlowe's translation of Lucan's Pharsalia posthumously published
  • Thomas Weelkes' Madrigals
  • Charles I; John Ogilby (Scots.)
  • Sir Walter Ralegh's "The Nymph's Reply" (1600), about Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love"
  • Robert Chester's Loues martyr: or, Rosalins complaint
  • John Donne secretly weds Ann More, niece of his employer, Sir Thomas Egerton
  • Thomas Morley: Madrigals
  • Thomas Nashe
  • Thomas Campion's A Booke of Ayres
  • William Strode
  • Thomas Campion's Observations in the Art of English Poesie
  • A Poetical Rapsody, compiled by Francis and Walter Davison
  • Robert Southwell's St. Peter's Complaint, with Other Poems
  • Edward Benlowes; Owen Felltham (?)
  • Thomas Morley (in or after)
  • Shakespeare living on Silver Street, Cripplegate, London (to 1604)
  • Shakespeare granted a coat of arms
  • JAMES I (-1625)
  • Samuel Daniel's Defence of Rhyme, a reply to Thomas Campion's Observations
  • John Dowland's Third and Last Booke of Songs
  • James VI of Scotland is crowned James I of England
  • Shackerley Marmion
  • Elizabeth I; Benjamin, son of Ben Jonson
  • Thomas Bateson's Cantus. The first set of English Madrigales
  • Thomas Churchyard; Robert Chester
  • Michael Drayton's Owle
  • James I becomes patron of Shakespeare's acting company
  • John Dowland's Lachrimæ
  • Michael Drayton's Poemes Lyrick and Pastorall, including "The Ballad of Agincourt," "To the Virginian Voyage," and "To Cupid"
  • Sir William D'Avenant, on March 3; Edmund Waller
  • John Lyly
  • About this time John Donne wrote "The Sunne Rising" and "The Cannonization"
  • JAMESTOWN FOUNDED IN VIRGINIA
  • Thomas Ford's Musicke of sundrie kindes
  • Sir Edward Dyer; Edmund Shakespeare, William's younger brother, a player
  • John Hoskins' "on the fart in Parliament house"
  • John Milton on Dec. 9; Elizabeth Hall, Shakespeare's granddaughter
  • Thomas Sackville, 1st earl of Dorset
  • John Donne wrote his holy sonnets about 1608-09
  • Shakespeares sonnets (including "A Lover's Complaint") published by Thomas Thorpe
  • John Wilbye's The Second Set of Madrigales
  • Sir John Suckling
  • William Warner
  • A folio edition of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene includes "Two cantos of Mutabilitie"
  • William Shakespeare's "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments" by Robert Graves's "Beauty in Trouble" (1955)
  • William Shakespeare's "Th'expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame" by Karl Jay Shapiro's "Adult Bookstore" (1976), Wendy Cope's "The expense of spirits is a crying shame" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986), Dorothy Hickson's "129F. A Response to Shaxper's Sonnet 129" (1997), and W. D. Snodgrass's "Sonnet #129 -- de/composed from Shakespeare, A" and "Sonnet #129 -- de/composed from Shakespeare, B" (2001)
  • William Shakespeare's "Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck" by Wendy Cope's "Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "My glass shall not persuade me I am old" by Wendy Cope's "My glass shall not persuade me I'm senescent" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments" by Wendy Cope's "Not only marble, but the plastic toys" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "How like a winter hath my absence been" by Wendy Cope's "How like a sprinter you have turned and run" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "Let me not to the marriage of true minds" by Wendy Cope's "Let me not to the marriage of true swine" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "Alas 'tis true, I have gone here and there" by Wendy Cope's "Indeed 'tis true. I travel here and there" (Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis 1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "That time of year thou mayst in me behold" by Marilyn Hacker's "Did you love well what very soon you left?" (1986)
  • William Shakespeare's "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" by T. S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday" (1930)
  • GALILEO SHOWS EARTH'S ROTATION AROUND THE SUN
  • Giles Fletcher the younger's Christs Victorie and Triumph
  • Lucius Cary, second Viscount, Falkland
  • John Davies' The Scourge of Folly
  • Shakespeare's The Phoenix and the Turtle published in Chester's Loves Martyr
  • Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum
  • John Donne's "La Corona" sonnet sequence, written about this time; and An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary
  • King James' version of the Bible
  • Giles Fletcher the elder
  • William Byrd's Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets
  • second edition of Francis Bacon's Essays
  • John Donne's The Second Anniversary: The Progress of the Soul
  • John Dowland's A Pilgrimes Solace
  • Michael Drayton's The Poly-Olbion, Part I (1612-13)
  • Orlando Gibbons's First Set of Madrigals and Mottets
  • Anne Bradstreet; James Graham, 5th earl and first marquis of Montrose (Scotland)
  • Sir John Harington
  • John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" by Adrienne Rich's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" (1971)
  • William Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, completed in 1616
  • Joshua Sylvester's Lachrymae Lachrymarum
  • George Wither's Abuses Stript and Whipt
  • Samuel Butler; John Cleveland; Richard Crashaw (?)
  • Henry Constable
  • Richard Carew of Anthony's "The Excellency of the English Tongue" (1614)
  • John Donne's "Goodfriday 1613: Riding Westward"
  • John Donne's "Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward" by Elizabeth Spires's "Good Friday. Driving Westward" (1995)
  • George Chapman's translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and The Divine Poem of Musaeus (translation of the Greek Hero and Leander)
  • William Drummond's Poems
  • Ben Jonson's Works, including "On My First Son"
  • Joseph Beaumont; Richard Lovelace
  • Francis Beaumont; William Shakespeare (April 23)
  • Ben Jonson receives a royal pension, making him unofficially the first British Poet Laureate
  • Abraham Cowley
  • John Davies; Sir Walter Ralegh, executed; Joshua Sylvester
  • George Chapman's translation of Hesiod's Georgics
  • Thomas Bateson's Second Set of Madrigals
  • MAYFLOWER LANDS ON DEC. 22
  • Martin Peerson's Private Musicke
  • Francis Quarles' A Feast for Wormes
  • Alexander Brome
  • Thomas Campion; Richard Carew of Anthony; Richard Barnfield
  • George Sandys' verse translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Englished, books 1-5, completed on the voyage to Virginia and in the colony itself (1621-26)
  • Andrew Marvell; Henry Vaughan and Thomas Vaughan (twins)
  • Mary Herbert, countess of Pembroke, of smallpox
  • Mary Wroth's The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, the first romance by an Englishwoman; and "Pamphilia to Amphilanthus," the first sonnet sequence by an Englishwoman
  • Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion, II
  • George Wither's Fair-virtue
  • William Drummond's Flowres of Sion
  • Shakespeare's fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell publish the first folio of his works
  • Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle (ca.); Samuel Crossman (?)
  • William Byrd; Giles Fletcher the younger; Thomas Weelkes
  • CHARLES I (-1649)
  • third edition of Francis Bacon's Essays
  • John Fletcher; Orlando Gibbons; Sir Arthur Gorges; James I of England; Thomas Lodge
  • Francis Bacon; Nicholas Breton (ca.); Sir John Davies; John Dowland (ca.); Sir Robert Sidney
  • George Wither's Britain's Remembrancer, about the 1625 London plague
  • John Bunyan (baptized)
  • Fulke Greville, baron Brooke; Samuel Rowlands
  • Anne Dudley marries Simon Bradstreet and sails to New England in 1630
  • Robert Hayman's Quodlibets Lately Come over from New Britaniola, Old Newfound-land, the first extant English poetry written in Canada
  • Michael Drayton's The Muses Elizium
  • Charles Cotton
  • Thomas Bateson; Stephen Gosson
  • John Milton writes a sonnet on Shakespeare, published in the 1632 folio
  • John Penkethman
  • Certaine Learned and Elegant Works by Fulke Greville, lord Brooke, including Caelica
  • John Donne's Poems posthumously published
  • Phineas Fletcher's The Purple Island; or, The Isle of Man
  • George Herbert's The Temple
  • George Herbert, age 40; Anthony Munday
  • John Donne's "The Flea" (probably composed ca. 1600) by S. T. Coleridge's "On Donne's Poem 'To a Flea'" (1811)
  • John Milton's Lycidas in memory of Edward King
  • Wentworth Dillon; Thomas Ken
  • Ben Jonson
  • Sir William D'Avenant made unofficial British Poet Laureate
  • Francis Quarles' Hieroglyphikes of the Life of Man
  • Thomas Randolph's Poems with the Muses looking-glasse
  • Sir John Suckling's Aglaura (revised)
  • Thomas Traherne
  • Sir Robert Aytoun (?); John Hoskyns; Shackerley Marmion; John Wilbye; John Webster (ca.)
  • Sir John Suckling's "Baleade upon a Wedding"
  • William Habington's posthumous Poems
  • Thomas Carew's Workes
  • Ben Jonson's Timber, criticism on poets and poetry; and his translation of Horace's Ars Poetica
  • Aphra Behn (?); Thomas Shadwell (?)
  • Thomas Carew; Sir John Suckling (?)
  • About this time, John Milton drafts a tragedy named variously "Paradise Lost" and "Adam Unparadised"
  • The Bay Psalm Book, a verse translation by Richard Mather, John Eliot, and Thomas Weld (reputed to be the first book printed in North America)
  • first version of Sir John Denham's Cooper's Hill and The Sophy
  • Benjamin Tompson (US)
  • Lucius Cary, second Viscount Falkland; William Warner
  • Charles Sackville, earl of Dorset
  • John Cleveland's The Character of a London-Diurnall: with Several Select Poems
  • Richard Corbett's Certain Elegant Poems
  • Abraham Cowley's The Mistresse
  • John Wilmot, earl of Rochester
  • Francis Meres
  • Robert Herrick's Hesperides, about 1400 poems
  • Edward, lord Herbert of Cherbury; Thomas Ford; Richard Crashaw
  • Elkanah Settle
  • Joseph Beaumont's Psyche, in 30,000 lines
  • Robert Herrick's "Upon Julia's Clothes" by Owen Seaman's "To Julia in Shooting Togs and a Herrickose Vein" (1896), E. V. Knox's "Upon Julia's Clothes" (1911), Tom Clark's "Julia's Under-garments Viewed as a Vision of H2O" (1987), and Helen Bevington's "Herrick's Julia" (2007)
  • NO KING; GOVERNMENT BY COUNCIL (-1653)
  • Richard Lovelace's Lucasta, including "To Althea, from Prison"
  • Charles I; William Drummond of Hawthornden; Aurelian Townshend (ca.)
  • Henry Vaughan's Silex Scintillans
  • Anne Bradstreet's The Tenth Muse: the first English woman to publish a volume of original poems
  • Phineas Fletcher; Martin Peerson
  • Andrew Marvell's "An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" (June)
  • Henry Vaughan's "The World" by Genevieve Taggard's "Remembering Vaughan in New England" (composed 1938)
  • Edward Benlowe's Theophilia, or Love's Sacrifice