What if we could tell you exactly which cities have been the most important throughout history?
Well, we have a lot of data. We”ve been putting together some great timelines and timemaps (you should check them out!), and that took a lot of data-entry. For every event that happened in the life of each poet, let”s say a book was published, someone traveled to study abroad or give a lecture, etc., we wrote down the What, Where and When in a database. So now we have well over 10.000 events, from almost 250 poets, in around 1250 places. Therefore, besides the timelines, and the “Today in history” snippet at our homepage, we started thinking what else can we find out with all the information we gathered. Hey, it takes a lot of work, so we might as well use the data as much as we can!
We grouped events by city, and ended up with the most poetic cities in the world. You can look at the infographic first, then we point out some events in each city, and finally you get to play with the information yourself. That”s right, go to the bottom of the page to start browsing through the cities to actually see what happened there, and to whom. Clicking London, for example, will take you to the page with all the writers who were, in any way, connected to London. Clicking on your favorite poet will show you events, like birth, death, publications, etc., associated with that poet.
Let us take a look at the ten most poetic cities of the world.
London, United Kingdom
With 1419 poetic events, London is our most poetic city. From the birth of Geoffrey Chaucer to the death of Sir Walter Raleigh, London has seen some major poetic events. Over the course of his life, the famous children’s poet Roald Dahl also got a few jobs in London. Charles Dickens’s ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Great Expectations’ were also published here.
New York, United States
From the production of Oscar Wilde’s first play ‘Vera’ to the publication of Maya Angelou’s collection of poetry ‘And Still I Rise’, New York has been home to some extraordinary poetic events. The city also saw the publishing of Robert Frost’s first poem, ‘My Butterfly – An Elegy’.
Being the birth place of Charles Baudelaire and Voltaire, Paris comes third in the list. It is also the place where one of the greatest poets, Oscar Wilde, died. James Joyce is believed to have worked on his classic ‘Ulysses’ in Paris.
Boston, United States
While Edgar Allan Poe was born here, the city is also the burial place of Robert Frost. This is the place where Khalil Gibran began his school for the very first time in America. From Emerson’s ‘Brahma’ to Wheatley’s ‘Atheism’, Boston is home to some memorable poems.
Cambridge, United States
When it comes to Cambridge, one cannot ignore Harvard University where Henry David Thoreau and many others got their education. The American poet Henry Longfellow published some of his incredible work in the city of Cambridge, and Anne Bradstreet wrote her poem “Upon a Fit of Sickness”. Gertrude Stein studied at Radcliffe College and made a life-long friend there, Mabel Foote Weeks.
Chicago, United States
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Oxford, United Kingdom
From Lewis Carroll’s romantic poem ‘Solitude’ to Matthew Arnold’s ‘Cromwell: A Prize Poem’, Oxford is home to some extraordinary poetic events. Few of William Wordsworth’s major books were also published here. Moreover, Jane Austen and Jonathan Swift among many others were educated in the city of Oxford.
Dublin is the birth place of Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Moore, George Bernard Shaw and 7 other exceptional writers. Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem ‘I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark’ was written in this city.
San Francisco, United States
From Allen Ginsberg ’s iconic poem ‘Howl’ to Jack Spicer’s ‘Billy the Kid’, San Francisco has seen some of the most famous publications. It is also the birth place of Robert Frost and 13 other writers.
Bonus: Play with the data!
Click on a city, then choose a writer, and finally go through the categories to learn what happened to him/her there.