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Poetic Baby Names

Poetic Baby Names

 Since April is National Poetry Month, this seems like a perfect time to look at some of the most poetic of baby names. We’ve already seen starbabies named Poet (Soleil Moon Frye), Sonnet (Forest Whitaker), Auden (Noah Wyle), Tennyson (Russell Crowe), and of course any number of Dylans (traceable back to poet Thomas). By some quirk of fate — or maybe it’s prophecy fulfillment — poets in general seem to have more poetic surnames than prose writers do.  Here are some poet-name possibilities:

ANGELOUAUDENBARAKABLAKEBLYBOGANBRONTEBYRONCAMPBELLCAREWCHAUCERCORSOCRANEDANTEDICKINSONELIOTEMERSONFLETCHERFROSTHARDYHERRICKJARRELLKEATSKENYONKIPLINGLANDORLARKINLORCALOWELLMACAULAYMARLOWEMARVELLMERRILLMERWINMILLAYMILTONMISTRALMORRISONNERUDAOLIVEROWENPAZPOEQUARLESRUMIRUSKINSHELLEYSPENSERTENNYSONTHOREAUVAUGHANVERLAINEWHITMANWHITTIERWYATTYEATS

Another group of poetically romantic names consists of the idealized Greek, Latinate, and other names used by the early English pastoral poets, in verse dedicated to their “coy mistresses” and such:

ALTHEAAMARANTHAAMINTAANTHEAAUDRIACELIACLORINDACORINNACHLOECHLORISDELIADORINDAFAWNIAFLORAGRATIANAISABELLJULIALAURALUCASTAPERILLAPHILOMELAPHILLIDAPHILLISPHOEBEROSALINDROSALINESABRINASAMELASILVIAVEVINA

And then there are the names connected to poetry via goddesses, muses, and other poetic associations–here are just a few of the almost endless possibilities:

ARIEL— The name of Sylvia Plath’s most famous group of poemsBEATRICEDante‘s muse in The Divine ComedyBRIANA –one of many symbolic names in Spenser‘s The Faerie QueenBRIGID — Celtic goddess of poetry and songCALLIOPE — The Greek muse of epic poetryCERIDWEN — Legendary Welsh enchantress said to possess the cauldron of poetic inspirationCLARINDA — Invented by Edmund Spenser and used by Robert Burns in Verses to ClarindaDEVIN — Gaelic name meaning musical poetELAINE and ENID –Revived by Tennyson in Idylls of the KingERATO –The Greek muse of love poetryEULALIE — Subject of a Poe poemEVANGELINE — Popularized via the Longfellow poemFIAMMETTA — From Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando FuriosoIANTHE — Appears in the poetry of Byron and Shelley; the latter used it for his daughterLEILA — Arabic name popularized in the works of ByronLENORE — An Edgar Allan Poe favoriteMALVINA — invented by the Scottish poet James MacphersonPAMELA — invented by pastoral poet Sir Philip SidneyTHALIA — Greek muse of idyllic poetryUNA — Symbolic name used in Spenser‘s The Faerie QueenVANESSA — Created by Jonathan Swift for his autobiographical poem Cadenus and VanessaZULEIKA — Heroine of one of Byron‘s narrative poems

And finally there are the word names that cut straight to the chase:

BALLADBARD/BAIRDCADENCECANZONEHAIKULYRICMUSEOTTAVAPOEMPOESYPOETPOETICAQUATRAINSESTINASONNETVILLANELLE

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.