1917 in poetry
- January — Philosopher Hu Shih, the primary advocate for the revolution in Chinese literature at this time to replace scholarly language with the vernacular, publishes an article in the magazine New Youth (Xin Qingnian) titled "A Preliminary Discussion of Literature Reform", in which he originally emphasizes eight guidelines that all Chinese writers should take to heart (next year he will compress the list to four points).
- February — The Little Review moves from Chicago to New York City with the help of Ezra Pound (its foreign editor from May).
- May 2 — English poet Marian Allen completes the poem "To A. T. G." a few days after hearing of the death in action of her fiancé Arthur Greg, the first of several to his memory.
- May–June — T. S. Eliot takes over as editor of The Egoist, a London literary monthly, when Richard Aldington leaves for the British Army.
- English poet Siegfried Sassoon issues his "Soldier's Declaration" against prolongation of World War I and is sent (with assistance from Robert Graves) by the military authorities to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, where on August 17 Wilfred Owen introduces himself. With his encouragement, Owen writes "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Dulce et Decorum est"; the latter work's horrifying imagery makes it one of the most popular condemnations of war ever written. Like almost all Owen's poetry, these remain unpublished until after his death in action next year.
- With the United States not yet fighting in World War I, Americans John Dos Passos, E. E. Cummings and Robert Hillyer volunteer for the S.S.U. 60 of the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps.
- Last issue of Others: A Magazine of the New Verse, founded by Alfred Kreymborg in 1915 and publishing poetry and other writing, as well as visual art; contributors include William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Ezra Pound, Conrad Aiken, Carl Sandburg, T. S. Eliot, Amy Lowell, Hilda Doolittle, Djuna Barnes, Man Ray, Skipwith Cannell and Lola Ridge.
- July 15 — Welsh-language poet Hedd Wyn posts his awdl "Yr Arwr" ("The Hero") as his entry for the poetry competition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales on the same day as he marches off with the 15th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers towards the Battle of Passchendaele in which he will be killed a fortnight later. On September 6 at the ceremony of Chairing of the Bard at the Eisteddfod, held at Birkenhead, the empty druidical chair which Wyn, as winner, should have occupied is draped in a black sheet, "The festival in tears and the poet in his grave." This becomes known as "The Eisteddfodd of the Black Chair."
- Summer — Russian writer Boris Pasternak composes My Sister, My Life; this circulates orally and in manuscript for several years before publication.
- c. Summer — The Siuru expressionistic and neo-romantic literary movement in Estonia is formed by a group of young poets and writers.
- October 20 — 51-year-old poet W. B. Yeats marries 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees at Harrow Road register office in London with Ezra Pound as best man, a couple of months after having had a proposal of marriage to his ex-mistress's daughter, Iseult Gonne, rejected.
- November — Publication of The Muse in Arms, an anthology of British war poetry.
Works published in English
- Arthur Henry Adams, Australian Nursery Rimes, Australia
- C. J. Dennis:
- The Glugs of Gosh
- Henry Lawson, "Scots of the Riverina", Australia
- Aftermath of Easter Week, Ireland
- Rupert Brooke, Selected Poems
- May Wedderburn Cannan, In War Time
- Richard Church, The Flood of Life
- Austin Clarke, The Vengeance of Fionn (Irish poet)
- Walter de la Mare, The Sunken Garden, and Other Poems
- John Drinkwater, Tides
- Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), The Tribute And Circe: Two Poems (American poet published in the UK)
- T. S. Eliot:
- Robert Graves, Fairies and Fusiliers
- Ivor Gurney, Severn and Somme
- Thomas Hardy:
- F. W. Harvey, Gloucestershire Friends: Poems from a German Prison Camp
- May Herschel-Clarke, Behind the Firing Line and other poems of the War
- W. N. Hodgson, Verse and Prose in Peace and War (posthumous)
- D. H. Lawrence, Look! We Have Come Through
- Joseph Lee, Work-a-Day Warriors (Scottish poet)
- Ewart Alan Mackintosh, A Highland Regiment and Other Poems (Scottish poet)
- John Masefield, Lollingdon Downs, and Other Poems
- Alice Meynell, A Father of Women, and Other Poems
- Charles Murray, The Sough o' War (Scottish poet writing in Doric dialect)
- George William Russell ("Æ"), Salutation
- Vita Sackville-West, Poems of East and West
- Siegfried Sassoon, The Old Huntsman, and Other Poems
- Will Streets, The Undying Splendour (posthumous)
- Edward Thomas, Poems (posthumous) (including "Adlestrop")
- Sir William Watson, The Man Who Saw, and Other Poems Arising Out of the War
- Charles Williams, Poems of Conformity
- W. B. Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole, Other Verses and a Play in Verse (Irish poet)
- Conrad Aiken, Nocturne of Remembered Spring
- John Peale Bishop, Green Fruit
- Witter Bynner, grenstone Poems
- Florence Earle Coates (1850–1927), Pro Patria A 16-page pamphlet of seven war poems published privately in Philadelphia in support of American involvement in World War I.
- Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), The Tribute And Circe: Two Poems American poet published in the United Kingdom
- Edgar A. Guest, Just Folks
- Archibald MacLeish, Tower of Ivory
- Edna St. Vincent Millay, Renascence and Other Poems
- James Oppenheim, The Book of Self
- Edward Arlington Robinson, Merlin
- George Murphy, Thirty-five Sonnets
- Alan Seeger, Poems (posthumous)
- Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"
- Sara Teasdale, Love Songs
- William Carlos Williams, A Book of Poems: Al Que Quiere!
Other in English
- Nizamat Jung, Sonnets, London: Erskine Macdonald; Indian, Indian poetry in English, published in the United Kingdom
- Sarojini Naidu, The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring, London; India, Indian poetry in English, published in the United Kingdom
- E. J. Pratt, Rachel: a sea story of Newfoundland, private. Canada.
Works published in other languages
- Guillaume Apollinaire, pen name of Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky, Vitam impendere amori
- Max Jacob, Le cornet a dés
- Philippe Soupault, Aquarium
- Paul Valéry, La Jeune Parque
Including all of the British colonies that later became India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Listed alphabetically by first name, regardless of surname:
- Balawantrai Thakore, Bhanakar, Gujarati language
- Ci. Subrahamaniya Bharati, Kannan Pattu, Tamil language
- C. R. Sahasrabuddha, Kakaduta, a parody (a book with the same name by a different author was published in 1940), Sanskrit language
- Daulat Ram, Raja Gopi Cand, long narrative poem in the traditional genre of "Kissa", about the legend of Raja Gopi Chand, Punjabi language
- Duvvuri Rami Reddi, Nalajaramma agnipravesamu, Telugu language
- Hiteshwar Bar Barua, Desdimona Kavya, narrative poem inspired by Shakespeare's ' 'Othello' ', Assamese language
- Hiteshwar Barua, Angila, Assamese language
- Vallathol Narayana Menon, also known simply as "Vallathol", Sahityamanjari, Part I, Malayalam language
- Artur Adson, Henge palango, Estonia
- Gottfried Benn, Fleisch, Germany
- Albert Ehrenstein, Die rote Zeit, Germany
- Walter Flex, Im Felde zwischen Nacht und Tag, Germany
- Stefan George, Der Krieg ("The War"); German
- Ulric-L. Gingras, La chanson du paysans; French language;, Canada
- Juan Ramón Jiménez, Diario de un poeta recién casado ("Diary of a Newly Married Poet"; later retitled Diario de poeta y mar ["Diary of Poet and Sea"), Spain
- Antonio Machado, Campos de Castilla ("Fields of Castile"), enlarged edition (first edition 1912); Spain
- Julio Molina Núñez and Juan Agustín Araya. Selva lírica, preparada, anthology, including work by Gabriela Mistral; Chile
- Giuseppe Ungaretti, Il porto sepolto ("The Buried Port"), Italy
- Henrik Visnapuu, Amores, Estonia
Death years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:
- March 1 – Robert Lowell (died 1977), American poet
- March 17 – Takis Sinopoulos (died 1981), Greek poet
- April 19 – Johannes Bobrowski (died 1965), German poet, narrative writer, adaptor and essayist
- June 7 – Gwendolyn Brooks (died 2000), African American poet
- June 30 – Judson Crews (died 2010), American poet
- July 5 – Stella Sierra (died 1997), Panamanian poet
- July 15 – Robert Conquest (died 2015), English-born historian and poet
- August 9 – Jao Tsung-I (died 2018), Chinese scholar, poet, translator, calligrapher and painter
- October 12 – James McAuley (died 1976), Australian poet
- December 9 – James Jesus Angleton (died 1987), American counterintelligence agent and poet
- December 14 – Tove Ditlevsen (suicide 1976), Danish poet and fiction writer
- December 30 – Yun Dong-ju (died 1945), Korean poet (surname: Yoon; also spelled "Yoon Dong-joo" and "Yun Tong-ju")
- Rainer Brambach (died 1983), German poet
- Abdus Sattar Ranjoor Kashmiri (died 1990), Indian, Kashmiri-language poeet
- Kamakshi Prasad Chattopadhyay (died 1976), Indian, Bengali-language poet and fiction writer
- P. N. Pushp (died 1998), Indian, Kashmiri-language scholar and poet
- Mario Augusto Rodriguez Velez (died 2009), Panamanian journalist, essayist, dramatist, poet and storyteller (surname: Rodriguez Velez)
- Sampath, pen name of Raghavacharya Sankhavaram, Indian, Telugu poet
- Themis, Indian poet of the Aurobindoean School
- Fadwa Tuqan (died 2003), Palestinian poet
Birth years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:
- April 20? – Jane Barlow, 60 (born 1857), Irish poet and novelist
- May 25 – Maksim Bahdanovič, 25 (born 1891), Belarusian poet, journalist and literary critic, of tuberculosis
- May 29 – Kate Harrington, 85 (born 1831), American teacher, writer and poet
Killed in World War I
- April 3 – Arthur Graeme West, English war poet and prose writer, shot by a sniper near Bapaume (born 1891)
- April 9
- July 31 – both killed in the Battle of Passchendaele near Ypres, Belgium
- September 17 – Arthur Sidgwick, English poet and essayist, died of wounds from aerial bomb near Ypres (born 1882)
- September 28 – T. E. Hulme, influential English poetry critic, killed by a shell at Oostduinkerke in Flanders Fields (born 1883)
- October 16 – Walter Flex, German war writer, died of wounds in Estonia (born 1887)
- November 23 – Ewart Alan Mackintosh, Scottish war poet, killed in the Battle of Cambrai (born 1893)
Awards and honors
- Nobel Prize for Literature: Karl Adolph Gjellerup, a Danish poet and novelist, shares the award with fellow Dane Henrik Pontoppidan
- List of years in poetry
- Modernist poetry in English
- Silver Age of Russian Poetry
- Ego-Futurism movement in Russian poetry
- Expressionism movement in German poetry
- Young Poland (Polish: Młoda Polska) modernist period in Polish arts and literature
- Bédé, Jean Albert; Edgerton, William Benbow (1980). Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-231-03717-1.
- Rubulis, Aleksis (1970). Baltic Literature. South Bend, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.
- Ludwig, Richard M., and Clifford A. Nault, Jr., Annals of American Literature: 1602–1983, 1986, New York: Oxford University Press ("If the title page is one year later than the copyright date, we used the latter since publishers frequently postdate books published near the end of the calendar year." — from the Preface, p vi)
- Published in October 1917 by Alfred Kreymborg in Others: An Anthology of the New Verse and two months later in the December issue of Others: A Magazine of the New Verse. See Others: An Anthology of the New Verse on Google Books.
- Vinayak Krishna Gokak, The Golden Treasury and Indo-Anglian Poetry (1828-1965), p 313, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (1970, first edition; 2006 reprint), ISBN 81-260-1196-3, retrieved August 6, 2010
- "Bibliography," Selected Poems of E. J. Pratt, Peter Buitenhuis ed., Toronto: Macmillan, 1968, 207-208.
- Web page titled "Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)" at the Poetry Foundation website, retrieved August 9, 2009. Archived 2009-09-03.
- Auster, Paul, editor, The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century French Poetry: with Translations by American and British Poets, New York: Random House, 1982 ISBN 0-394-52197-8
- Preminger, Alex and T. V. F. Brogan, et al., The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 1993. New York: MJF Books/Fine Communications
- Mohan, Sarala Jag, Chapter 4: "Twentieth-Century Gujarati Literature" (Google books link), in Natarajan, Nalini, and Emanuel Sampath Nelson, editors, Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 978-0-313-28778-7, retrieved December 10, 2008
- Das, Sisir Kumar and various, History of Indian Literature: 1911-1956: struggle for freedom: triumph and tragedy, Volume 2, 1995, published by Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 978-81-7201-798-9, retrieved via Google Books on December 23, 2008
- Web page titled "Poet: Gottfried Benn", at Poetry Foundation website, retrieved December 16, 2009
- "Stefan George", article, Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2004, retrieved February 23, 2010
- Story, Noah, The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature, "Poetry in French" article, pp 651-654, Oxford University Press, 1967
- Debicki, Andrew P., Spanish Poetry of the Twentieth Century: Modernity and Beyond, pp 11 (Machado), 14 (Jimenez), University Press of Kentucky, 1995, ISBN 978-0-8131-0835-3, retrieved via Google Books, November 21, 2009
- Web page titled "Gabriela Mistral/Cronologia 1889-1921" Archived 2010-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, at the Centro Virtual Cervantes website, retrieved September 22, 2010
- Hofmann, Michael, editor, Twentieth-Century German Poetry: An Anthology, Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006
- "Panamanian writer Rodriguez Velez dies", article, January 11, 2009, United Press International website; also "Panama Writer Mario Augusto Rodriguez Dies", January 11, Latin American Herald Tribune, both retrieved same day