I was thinking the other night of sketching out a "family tree" of sorts of poets influence. Perhaps it would look more like a corporate flow chart. The idea would be to start connecting major poets by influence. I imagine this is not at all an original idea and I am sure somewhere, someone else has undertaken such a project. None the less, embarking on this could be quite educational.
I've read several biographical accounts of Sylvia Plath over the past few years and I am reading yet another one presently. It is interesting to see some of the long and deep lineage of close friendships and influences that even span generations. In the case of Plath, there is even a significant American-Euro connection of poets.
Certainly such connections bring with them at times some influence upon the individual work of a writer. Just as what we read (since for the most part, we read what we like) tends to give us some influence that creeps into our work at times.