I wasn't bothered by having Michael Hofmann compare Ted Hughes to Shakespeare, but he didn't mention Robert Browning in the long list of others who might share that honor. There is, of course, Walter Landor's famous tribute to the young Browning ("Since Chaucer was alive and hale / No man hath walk'd along our roads"), which admittedly may be a bit overboard. But more recently A. S. Byatt wrote of Browning: "He is one of the very greatest English poets, and his greatness has never been fully acknowledged or described."
As a member of the perfectly delightful Browning Society of New York, I must protest any list that includes six or seven great poets, but leaves him out.
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