Famous French Poets - Famous Poets from France

This famous French poets section is an educational source of information and inspiration featuring reknown French poets. Here you will find famous poets of our time and times past from France.

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Hugo, Victor

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A poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, visual artist, statesman and human rights campaigner.. French poet novelist and dramatist
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Baudelaire, Charles

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Charles Pierre Baudelaire is one of the most influential French poets of the nineteenth century. French poet essayist art critic and translator, b. Paris, 9 April 1821, the son of a distinguished friend of Cabanis and Condorcet. He first became famous by the publication of Fleurs du Mal, 1857, in which appeared Les Litanies de Satan. The work was prosecuted and suppressed. Baudelaire translated some of the writings of E. A. Poe, a poet whom he resembled much in life and character. The divine beauty of his face has been celebrated by the French poet, Théodore de Banville, and his genius in some magnificent stanzas by the English poet, Algernon Swinburne. Died Paris 31 Aug. 1867.
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Nin, Anais

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Anaïs Nin (Spanish:  [ana'is 'nin] ; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised. She spent some time in Spain and Cuba but lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She published journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.
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Belloc, Hilaire

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One of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century.. Anglo-French writer and historian
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Bobin, Christian

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Christian Bobin (born on 24 April 1951 in Le Creusot, Saône-et-Loire ) is a French author and poet.
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Breton, Andre

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André Breton (French:  [~de bt~] ; 19 February 1896 – 28 September 1966) was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto (Manifeste du surréalisme ) of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as " pure psychic automatism ".
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Desnos, Robert

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Robert Desnos (French:  [dsns] ; 4 July 1900 – 8 June 1945), was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.
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Bonnefoy, Yves

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Yves Bonnefoy (born 24 June 1923) is a French poet and essayist. Bonnefoy was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, the son of a railroad worker and a teacher. His works have been of great importance in post-war French literature, at the same time poetic and theoretical, examining the meaning of the spoken and written word. He has also published a number of translations, most notably Shakespeare as well as several works on art and art history, including Miró and Giacometti.
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Aragon, Louis

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Louis Aragon (French pronunciation:, born Louis Andrieux (October 3, 1897 – December 24, 1982), was a French poet, novelist and editor, a long-time political supporter of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.. French poet novelist and editor
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Eluard, Paul

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Paul Éluard (French pronunciation:  [elar] ), born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel ([g~dl] ; 14 December 1895 – 26 November 1952), was a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.
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Cocteau, Jean

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Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Along with other avant-garde artists of his generation Cocteau grappled with the algebra of verbal codes old and new, mise en scène language and technologies of modernism to create a paradox: a classical avant-garde.. French writer
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Artaud, Antonin

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Antonin Artaud (September 4, 1896, in Marseille – March 4, 1948 in Paris) was a French playwright, poet, actor and theatre director. Antonin is a diminutive form of Antoine "little Anthony", and was among a list of names which Artaud used throughout his writing career.. actor playwright poet essayist
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Ackermann, Louise-Victorine

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French poetess, b. Paris 30 Nov. 1813. She travelled to Germany and there married (1853) a young theologian, Paul Ackerman, who in preparing for the ministry lost his Christian faith, and who, after becoming teacher to Prince Frederick William (afterwards Frederick III.), died at the age of thirty-four (1846). Both were friends of Proudhon. Madame Ackermann’s poems (Paris 1863–74 and 85) exhibit her as a philosophic pessimist and Atheist. “God is dethroned,” says M. Caro of her poems (Revue des Deux Mondes, 15 May, 1874). She professes hatred of Christianity and its interested professors. She has also published Thoughts of a Solitary. Sainte Beuve calls her “the learned solitary of Nice.”
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Apollinaire, Guillaume

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A poet, writer, and art critic. Among the foremost French poets of the early 20th century.. French poet
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Damas, Leon

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Léon-Gontran Damas (March 28, 1912-January 22, 1978) was a French poet and politician. He was one of the founders of the Négritude movement. He also used the pseudonym Lionel Georges André Cabassou.
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Beckett, Samuel

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Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour .
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Bosquet, Alain

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Alain Bosquet, born Anatole Bisk (March 28, 1919, Odessa – 8 March 1998, Paris ), was a French poet .
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Arp, Jean

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Jean Arp / Hans Arp (16 September 1886 – 7 June 1966) was a German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. A German-French sculptor, painter, and poet.. sculptor painter and poet
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Bousquet, Joë

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Joë Bousquet (19 March 1897 - 28 September 1950) was a French poet.
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Amrouche, Jean

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Jean-Elmouhoub Amrouche (7 February 1906 in Ighil Ali, Algeria - 16 April 1962 in Paris, France) was an Algerian francophone writer, poet and journalist. Born to a Catholic family in Algeria, his parents were Kabyles who converted to Christianity. Amrouche emigrated with his family to Tunisia while still young. He later moved to Paris for studies. His name Jean was given to him by White Fathers, among whom he rose.
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de Musset, Alfred

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Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay (11 December 1810 – 2 May 1857) was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing La Confession d'un enfant du siècle (The Confession of a Child of the Century, autobiographical) from 1836.. 19th century poet
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Claudel, Paul

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Paul Claudel (6 August 1868 – 23 February 1955) was a French poet, dramatist and diplomat, and the younger brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his verse dramas, which often convey his devout Catholicism.. French poet dramatist and diplomat
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de Lamartine, Alphonse

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Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine (21 October 1790 – 28 February 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic.. French writer poet and politician
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Albiach, Anne-Marie

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Anne-Marie Albiach (9 August 1937 – 4 November 2012) was a contemporary French poet and translator .
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Depestre, René

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René Depestre (born 29 August 1926 Jacmel, Haiti ) is a Haitian poet and former communist activist. He lived in Cuba as an exile from the Duvalier regime for many years and was a founder of the Casa de las Americas publishing house. He is best known for his poetry.
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Alyn, Marc

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Marc Alyn (Alain-Marc Fécherolle), (born 18 March 1937 in Reims ) is a French poet .
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Collobert, Danielle

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Danielle Collobert was a French author, poet and journalist, born in Rostrenen, Côtes-d'Armor on 23 July 1940. She died, by her own hand, in Paris on 23 July 1978.
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Carême, Maurice

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Maurice Carême (12 May 1899 – 13 January 1978) was a Belgian francophone poet, best known for his simple writing style and children's poetry .
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Gainsbourg, Serge

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Serge Gainsbourg (born Lucien Ginsburg ; French pronunciation:  [s g~sbu] ; 2 April 1928 – 2 March 1991) was a French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director. Regarded as one of the most important figures in French popular music, he was renowned for his often provocative and scandalous releases, as well as his diverse artistic output, which embodied genres ranging from jazz, mambo, world, chanson, pop and yé-yé, to rock and roll, progressive rock, reggae, disco and electronic. Gainsbourg's varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize although his legacy has been firmly established and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.
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de Nerval, Gérard

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Gérard de Nerval (French pronunciation) was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic French poets.. French poet essayist and translator
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Albert-Birot, Pierre

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Pierre Albert-Birot (22 April 1876 – 25 July 1967) was a French avant-garde poet, dramatist, and theater manager.
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Alféri, Pierre

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Pierre Alféri (born 1963) is a French novelist, poet, essayist and Professor at European Graduate School. Alferi is the son of French philosopher Jacques Derrida and psychoanalyst Marguerite Aucouturier .
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Houellebecq, Michel

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Michel Houellebecq (French:  [mil wlbk] ; born Michel Thomas ; 26 February 1956), is a controversial and award-winning French author, filmmaker, magician and poet. Having written poetry and a biography of the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, he published his first novel, Extension du domaine de la lutte, in 1994. Les Particules élémentaires followed in 1998, and Plateforme in 2001. After a publicity tour for this book led to his being taken to court for inciting racial hatred, he moved to Ireland to write for several years and now resides in Spain.
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Tardieu, Jean

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Jean Tardieu (born in Saint-Germain-de-Joux, Ain, 1 November 1903, died in Créteil, Val-de-Marne, 27 January 1995) was a French artist, musician, poet and dramatic author. He earned a degree in literature and worked for a publishing house. He published several poetry collections in the 1930s before starting to write for the stage. After World War Two, Tardieu entered the world of radio and worked his way to head of dramatic programming and then director of programs at France-Music. The quality and success of French National Public Radio after World War Two has been attributed largely to Jean Tardieu.
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Rimbaud, Arthur

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. French symbolist poet; part of the decadent movement
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Prudhomme, Sully

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René François Armand (Sully) Prudhomme (French:  [syli pydm] ; 16 March 1839 – 6 September 1907) was a French poet and essayist, and was the first ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901.
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Bertrand, Aloysius

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Louis Jacques Napoléon Bertrand, more well known by his pen name Aloysius Bertrand (April 20, 1807 — April 29, 1841), was a French Romantic poet, playwright and journalist. He is famous for having introduced prose poetry in French literature, and is considered a forerunner of the Symbolist movement. His masterpiece is the collection of prose poems Gaspard de la nuit, that was published posthumously in 1842 and had three of its poems famously adapted to a homonymous piano suite by Maurice Ravel in 1908.
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de la Halle, Adam

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Adam de la Halle, also known as Adam le Bossu (Adam the Hunchback ) (1237–1288 or after 1306 ) was a French-born trouvère, poet and musician, whose literary and musical works include chansons and jeux-partis (poetic debates) in the style of the trouveres, polyphonic rondel and motets in the style of early liturgical polyphony, and a musical play, " Jeu de Robin et Marion ", which is considered the earliest surviving secular French play with music. He was a member of the Confrérie des jongleurs et bourgeois d'Arras .
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Verlaine, Paul

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Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.. French poet associated with the Symbolist movement
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Genet, Jean

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Jean Genet (French:  [~ n] ; (1910-12-19 ) 19 December 1910 – 15 April 1986 (1986-04-15 ) ) was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids and The Screens .
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Chénier, André

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French poet, associated with the events of the French Revolution of which he was a victim. His sensual, emotive poetry marks him as one of the precursors of the Romantic movement.
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Gautier, Théophile

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Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier (pronounced) was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic.
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Brassens, Georges

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Georges Brassens (French:  [ bas~s] ; 22 October 1921 – 29 October 1981), was a French singer-songwriter and poet.
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de Gourmont, Remy

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Remy de Gourmont was a French Symbolist poet, novelist, and influential critic. He was widely read in his era, and an important influence on Blaise Cendrars. (The spelling Rémy de Gourmont is incorrect, albeit common and used by Ezra Pound in translations of his work.). French Symbolist poet novelist and critic
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Péguy, Charles

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Charles Péguy (January 7, 1873 – September 4, 1914) was a noted French poet, essayist, and editor. His two main philosophies were socialism and nationalism, but by 1908 at the latest, after years of uneasy agnosticism, he had become a devout but non-practicing Roman Catholic. From that time, Catholicism strongly influenced his works.. French poet essayist and editor
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Soupault, Philippe

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Philippe Soupault (2 August 1897, Chaville, Hauts-de-Seine – 12 March 1990, Paris ) was a French writer and poet, novelist, critic, and political activist. He was active in Dadaism and later founded the Surrealist movement with André Breton. Soupault initiated the periodical Littérature together with the writers Breton and Louis Aragon in Paris in 1919, which, for many, marks the beginnings of Surrealism. The first book of automatic writing, Les champs magnétiques (1920), was co-authored by Soupault and Breton. He directed Radio Tunis from 1937 to 1940, when he was arrested by the pro-Vichy regime. He fled successfully to Algiers .
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Duprey, Jean-Pierre

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Jean-Pierre Duprey (1 January 1930, Rouen – 2 October 1959, Paris ) was a French poet and sculptor, one of the modern examples of an accursed poet .
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Valery, Paul

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Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French:  [pl valei] ; 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues), his interests included aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.
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de Vigny, Alfred

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Alfred Victor de Vigny (27 March 1797 – 17 September 1863) was a French poet, playwright, and novelist.. French poet playwright and novelist
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Frédérique, André

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André Frédérique (27 February 1915, Nanterre - 17 May 1957) was a French poet. He was a son of a police officer. He became a member of the Parisienne bohème (befriending people like Jean Carmet ). His works, often full of black humour (which did not save him from suicide caused by his feeling of a metaphysical hopelessness) are similar to Henri Michaux .
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