The Best Underrated Poets

Not everyone can get into poetry, and that’s okay. Sometimes a concrete narrative you don’t have to interpret is easier on the mind, and sometimes a visual narrative is easiest of all. Then there are those who turn to the interactively visual narratives of video games. All of these represent different artforms, and yet even today poetry seems the most underrated. Who are the most underrated modern-day poets? Here are just a few who deserve a more in-depth look!

Michael Hettich’s work is an inspiration. It’s a nice change of pace for those who prefer the narrative approach to storytelling, and it’s easy to read. You’ll find yourself thrown back in time with poems like First Day of Class or And We Were Nearly Children. These works are simple yet subtle, and that’s what we like.

Ars Poetica, written by Archibald Macleish, represents quite the opposite. It’s short and sweet, but it’ll put your mind to work. It’s not necessarily about inherent meaning; what it means to you will be different from what it means to anyone else. We each have our own unique memories and this poem is a great way to stir them up.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind–”

Give it a try!

Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is another deserving title on our list. He speaks to his audience directly, spurring fantastically colorful imagery, sounds, and smells in our imaginations. Not only will this poem elicit many outdoor memories, but it can coerce some dark thoughts as well.

An excerpt:

“I mean tons — of cowshit
And stood ankle deep in swales of maggots
Swirling the spent beer grains
The brewery man was good enough to dump off…”

Karen Head studied at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of Georgia Tech but her imagination might have you believing she’s a product of Harvard. She writes about mature topics, as this excerpt from Listen O daughters turn turn shows:

“You don’t need your daddy to string you up in a barn to beat the sin out of you because the sin swirls like a spring tornado from the moment you gasp into this world…”

It’s true, this list is by no means comprehensive. One person’s underrated is another’s overrated, because we all have our own opinions. Who would you like to see added to the list?