The Great Circling Poets of Arium were a group of intelligent Golgafrinchans from the planet Golgafrincham. They belonged to the first group of people in Golgafrincham society - the thinkers, or leaders, who were known for being artists and "achievers". The Circling Poets were mentioned in the travel guide The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It was a descendent of these eccentric poets who invented the tale of impending doom which enabled the people of Golgafrincham to rid themselves of an entire "useless third" of their population. This third group of their society, the middlemen, ended up meeting Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect and crashed onto pre-historic Earth, eventually becoming the true ancestors of humans.

The Great Circling Poets of Arium were depicted in the Tapestry of Arium, which was found in the ruins of Vasillian on Golgafrincham.


The Circling Poets used to live in remote mountain passes where they would lie and wait for small bands of unwary travellers, circle round them, and throw rocks at them.

When the travellers cried out, asking why the Poets wouldn't "get on with writing some poems" instead of "pestering people" by throwing rocks, the Poets would suddenly break off and sing them an incredibly long and beautiful song. This song told of how there once went forth, from the City of Vassillian, a party of five sage princes with four horses.

The first part of the song told how these five sage princes - who were, of course, brave, noble, and wise - travelled widely in distant lands, fought giant ogres, pursued exotic philosophies, took tea with weird gods, and rescued beautiful monsters from ravening princesses, before finally announcing that they had achieved enlightenment and that their wanderings were therefore accomplished.

The second, and much longer part, told of all the "bickerings" between the princes about which one of them was going to have to walk back. The princes in the song were obviously a reference to the Circling Poets themselves.  



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