See the lower half of this piece, where Richard laudably asserts that there’s no shame in being an “Arizona artist.”
In the early 1800s, the population of England was roughly 8 million, and they produced Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Byron, Keats and Shelley — not to mention Robert Southey, Leigh Hunt, Walter Savage Landor, Thomas Campbell, Thomas Moore, John Clare and Thomas Lovell Beddoes.
It is an astonishing flowering of poetry in a single era. Six major poets and a handful of others still read with pleasure by millions of people.
One might average them out very inaccurately as one great poet per 1 million in population.
Even in the 17th century, when the population of England was half that of the early 19th century, we have Thomas Carew, George Chapman, Richard Crashaw, John Donne, Michael Drayton, William Drummond, John Dryden, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Ben Jonson, Richard Lovelace, Andrew Marvell, John Milton and John Wilmot (Earl of Rochester).
Of these, we can easily confer “major poet” status on Milton, Donne…
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