100 Poetic Baby Names That Are Sweeter Than a Sonnet
How do I love thee? If you hear this sweet snippet from famed poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning every time you daydream about your soon-to-be baby, you may want to start exploring poetic names for girls and boys.
Baby names from poems are sentimental, imaginative, fantastical, and even a little bit historical! Whether you choose a name straight out of your college English 101 poetry textbook, go bold (and old school) with a Greek or Roman god or goddess name pick.
Poetry spans cultures and centuries. You can find name inspiration in Hindu selections, Norse Mythology, or in a famous poem by Lord Byron, Tennyson, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, or any one of the many Pulitzer Prize-winning writers you absolutely adore.
These baby names are melodic monikers that you absolutely can’t ignore. From Old English to Latin and Italian boy names and girl names, check out the top poetic names of all times!
Related: 105 Classic Literary Baby Names for Girls and Boys
Poetic Boy Names (& Meanings)
“Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” Does your baby need a name rad Romeo-inspired name straight out of a William Shakespeare sonnet? Your little one will become the light of your life, your muse, and so, so, so much more. Combine your love for English lit (or Spanish, Italian, Scottish, Welsh, or other poetry) with the adoration you almost can’t express for your soon-to-be baby and pick a poetic name.
- Allan - From Edgar Allan Poe.
- Augustine - From the Longfellow poem “The Ladder of St. Augustine.”
- Byron - The famous poet Lord Byron.
- Charles - As in Bukowski.
- Dante - Italian “Divine Comedy” writer Dante Alighieri.
- Edgar - “The Raven” poet Edgar Allan Poe.
- Eliot - The last name of writer T.S.
- Ezra - Modernist poet Ezra Pound.
- Federico - Federico Garcia Lorca was a Spanish poet.
- Geoffrey - English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
- George - Poet George Eliot was actually Mary Ann Evans.
- Giacomo - Giacomo Leopardi was an Italian poet.
- Hardy - For poet and Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy.
- Henry - Poet and naturalist Henry David Thoreau.
- Homer - This author penned the epic Greek epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey.
- Hugh - Part of the poet Langston Hughes’ last name.
- Jack - Beat poet Jack Kerouac.
- Jet - From Shel Silverstein’s “Jimmy Jet and His TV Set.”
- Kip - From Rudyard’s last name (Kipling).
- Langston - Harlem Renaissance leader and poet Langston Hughes.
- Lewis - “Jabberwocky” author Lewis Carroll.
- Nash - For poet Ogden Nash.
- Oscar - For fans of poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.
- Pablo - Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
- Parker - Poet Dorothy Parker’s last name.
- Ralph - American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Robert - American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, poet Robert Frost or Scottish poet Robert Burns.
- Romeo - For the classic Shakespeare tragic hero.
- Rudy - For Rudyard Kipling.
- Shel - Beloved child’s poet Shel Silverstein.
- Tennyson - For Lord Alfred Tennyson.
- Virgil - The famous ancient Roman poet who wrote the epic poem: The Aneid
- Waldo - Emerson’s middle name.
- Walt - Poet Walt Whitman.
- Whit - A play on poet Walt Whitman’s last name.
- William - As in William Shakespeare, of course.
- Wyatt - For Sir Thomas Wyatt.
Poetic Girl Names (& Meanings)
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This “Romeo and Juliet” quote may make the argument that it’s not all in the name. But this doesn’t mean your little Rose (or any other poetic pick) should go unnamed. You’ve crossed off buy a car seat, invest in a small truck-load of diapers and wipes, and find the perfect pediatrician from your pre-due date list. Yet, you still haven’t landed on a baby name. Get some serious inspo and create a musical first and middle name combo with these sweet, sassy, and sonnet-ready poetic baby names for girls.
- Angel - Part of Maya Angelou’s last name.
- Annabel Lee - The title of a famous poem by Poe.
- Aphrodite - From Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”
- Ariel - The Sylvia Plath collection.
- Cadence - The natural rhythm of speech.
- Calliope - In Greek mythology, the most notable muse. The muse of epic poetry.
- Ceridwen - From the Welsh term for poetry or song.
- Christina - English poet Christina Rossetti.
- Christine - Italian poet Christine de Pizan.
- Dervla - This Irish baby name means daughter of the poet.
- Edda - “The Poetic Edda” is a collection of Old Norse poetry.
- Emily - The perfect name for fans of the historic poet Emily Dickinson.
- Erato - One of the muses—of lyric and love poetry.
- Dorothy - Algonquin Round Table founder Dorothy Parker.
- Elizabeth - English Victorian-era poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
- Florabela - Florabela Espanca was a Portuguese poet.
- Gia - From the first name of Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi.
- Gwendolyn - Notable 20th-century American poet Gwendolyn Brooks.
- Hope - From Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers.”
- Juliet - Romeo and Juliet.
- Kamala - While recently Not just the VP. Kamala Das was a well-known Indian poet.
- Kavya - This name means a “poetic composition” in Sanskrit.
- Lenore - Subject of another Poe poem.
- Lyric - For lovers of this musical poetry style
- Maya - For African-American poet and activist Maya Angelou.
- Mary Ann - Victorian poet Mary Ann Evans wrote as George Eliot.
- Melody - A musical or rhythmic sequence of words in a poem.
- Miranda - From Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
- Molly - A shortened version of the French writer Moliere.
- Petra - A shortened version of Petrarch, the Italian Renaissance poet.
- Raven - The famous Edgar Allan Poe poem.
- Rose - Part of a famed line from Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet.”
- Sarojini - Indian poet Sarojini Naidu.
- Sestina - A form of French verse.
- Shelley - English Romantic poet P.B. Shelley.
- Summer - From Shakespeare’s famed sonnet line, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
- Sylvia - Pulitzer Prize in Poetry winner Sylvia Plath.
- Villanelle - A 19-line type of poem.
Poetic Gender-Neutral Baby Names (& Meanings)
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” This famed line by Keats describes your soon-to-be new little one to a tee. Whether you’re waiting for a delivery room surprise or you just prefer to pick a unisex name, these options come straight from the lines of famous poets and reference characters and authors of some of the most notable sonnets of all time!
- Aisling - The Irish dream-poem, pronounced Ashling.
- Auden - British-American poet W.H. Auden.
- Avon - Shakespeare’s birthplace (Stratford-upon-Avon).
- Barrett - Part of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s name.
- Blake - For writer William Blake.
- Blue - The color word is featured in poems by Rudyard Kipling, Emily Bronte, and more.
- Brooks - The last name of American writer Gwendolyn Brooks.
- Carroll - Writer Lewis Carroll’s last name.
- Dylan - This unisex baby name is from Welsh writer Dylan Thomas.
- Eddie - From Eddic, or anonymous Old Norse poetry.
- E.E. - For poet E.E. Cummings.
- Emerson - This poetic baby name is for Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Gardener - The title of the Shel Silverstein poem.
- Hai - From the poetic form haiku.
- Keat - Poet John Keats.
- Li - Chinese poet Li Bai.
- Muse - An inspirational name for an inspirational baby!
- Ontario - From Walt Whitman’s poem.
- Ovi - Roman Ovid, minus the last letter.
- Poe - As in Edgar Allan.
- Poet - Go for the gusto with this literal name.
- Rumi - The Persian poet and mystic. And one of Beyonce’s children!
- Silver - The first part of children’s writer Shel Silverstein’s last name.
- Sonnet - Instead of a poem or famous poet, pick a type of poetry as a name.
- T.S. - For T.S. Eliot.
Looking for more baby names and inspiration? Check out our Baby Name Center.
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Erica is an experienced parenting and education writer, with an M.S. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.