Thomas Gray

1716–1771
Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray was born in London and was the only of twelve siblings to survive. Although his family had a modest income, Gray was able to attend Eton and Cambridge with his uncle’s help. In 1742 he wrote his first important poems, including “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.” When he wrote, he perfected each line before moving on to the next; he took years to complete “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” now one of the most frequently quoted English poems.

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion