Following these reforms, Solon left his post as archon (not wishing to become a tyrant and hoping to let his laws take root without him), leaving Athens and going into voluntary exile. Tales from this exile abound, mostly from Herodotus and Plutarch, praising Solon for his wisdom. These stories, as well as the accreditation of these reforms to him, are likely an excuse to explain how Athens acquired its civic institutions and overcame this dark period in the 6th century. However, Solon’s (attribution to these actions) was likely (although not definitely) purely mythical. But since poetry from him still survives, the man himself was not.
(Thank you, demonbloodsausagedog, for pointing that last part out! [also, terrific username])