National poet

A national poet or national bard is a poet held by tradition and popular acclaim to represent the identity, beliefs and principles of a particular national culture.[1] The national poet as culture hero is a long-standing symbol, to be distinguished from successive holders of a bureaucratically-appointed poet-laureate office. The idea and honoring of national poets emerged primarily during Romanticism, as a figure that helped consolidation of the nation states, as it provided validation of their ethno-linguistic groups.[1]

Walt Whitman, often described as the United States' national poet
Léopold Sédar Senghor
Du Fu
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Shota Rustaveli
Murasaki Shikibu
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
William Shakespeare
Dante Alighieri
Luís de Camões
Miguel de Cervantes
Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Alexander Pushkin
Lydia Koidula
Muhammad Iqbal
Adam Mickiewicz
Taras Shevchenko
César Vallejo
János Arany
Robert Burns

Most national poets are historic figures, though a few contemporary writers working in relatively new or revived national literatures are also considered "national poets." Though not formally elected, national poets play a role in shaping a country's understanding of itself.[2] Some nations may have more than one national poet; the idea of a single one is always a simplification. It has been argued that a national poet "must write poetry that closely identifies with the nation's cause – or is thought to do so",[3] with an additional assumption being that "a national poet must write in a national language".[4]

The following is a list of nations, with their associated national poets. It is not a list of sovereign states or countries, though many of the nations listed may also be such. The terms "nation" (as cultural concept), "country" (as geographical concept) and "state" (as political concept) are not synonyms.

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