writers The Best French Language Poets of All Time  

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List Rules Vote up the greatest French language poets. Poets who wrote in French.

Who is the best French poet? This list includes the greats of French poetrly, with poets such as Victor Hugo, Jean de la Fontaine, Louise Colet, and Phillippe Beck. The French language is one of the most beautiful languages used today and French poetry is especially beautiful. The poets on this list wrote in French and are the best in history.

Written works have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we read on the page. It is for this reason we often feel an emotional connection to poetry. It all begins with the words written on the page. Whether short or long form, poetry is often illusory, and full of rich imagery or hidden meaning. It is these elements which provoke us as readers to dig deeper. The best of poems and poets are read throughout the ages, by many generations, and taught throughout school to young students.

Poets and their poetry have the ability to take us places and into the lives of those we’ve never imagined. Poets can often be tortured souls or great thinkers who allow readers a new view on the world, which they never would have imagined. These greatest French language poets provide the kind of emotional connection to the written word that few can. Their work is moving, saddening, or romantic.

Vote up the best French language poets on the list below or add a French poet you think is the best if he or she is not already on the list.

list ordered by

1
65 7
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Charles Baudelaire Les Fleurs du mal, 33 Poemas Simbolistas, Poems in prose from Charles Baudelaire

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2
9 0
Paul Éluard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Paul Éluard Capitale de la douleur, 152 proverbes mis au gout du jour, Poesies

3
42 11
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Victor Hugo Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

4
45 15
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Arthur Rimbaud A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems

5
22 3
Guillaume Apollinaire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Guillaume Apollinaire L'hérésiarque et Cie, Les Onze Mille Verges ou les Amours d'un hospodar, Alcools

6
20 3
Paul Verlaine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Paul Verlaine Sagesse, Selected poems, Poems

7
21 6
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added François Villon Œuvres, Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder, Le grant testament Villon et le petit Son codicille. Le jargon. Les balades

8
15 3
Jacques Prévert is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
RogerRamos added Jacques Prévert Children of Paradise, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Port of Shadows

9
24 11
Jean de La Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Jean de La Fontaine Après vous, M. de La Fontaine!, Fables Choisies

10
18 7
Paul Valéry is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Paul Valéry La Joven Parca, Charms and Other Pieces, Charmes

11
29 17
Philippe Beck is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Philippe Beck Sleve guard hypocrite, Crude Marivaux

12
13 5
Joachim du Bellay is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Joachim du Bellay Les Deux Poaetes Francais, Les regrets, précédé de Les antiquités de Rome et suivi de La défense et illustration de la langue française

13
11 5
Jules Laforgue is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Jules Laforgue Choix de poésies, Patrick Caulfield, Poems of Jules Laforgue

14
11 5
André Chénier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added André Chénier Elegies and Camille

15
8 3
Emile Verhaeren is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Emile Verhaeren Sur James Ensor, Hugo et le romantisme, Ecrits sur l'art

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16
9 4
Francis Jammes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Francis Jammes Le rosaire au soleil, Klára d'Ellébeuse, Le troisième livre des quatrains

17
5 2
Francis Ponge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Francis Ponge La table, Methodes, Entretiens de Francis Ponge avec Philippe Sollers

18
3 1
James Sacré is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
DomenicoWebb added James Sacré

19
4 3
Emile Nellingan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
electrofab added Emile Nellingan

20
1 0
Léopold Sédar Senghor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Gabz29 added Léopold Sédar Senghor Le plan du décollage économique, ou, La participation responsable comme moteur du développement

21
8 8
Yves Bonnefoy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Yves Bonnefoy Alberto Giacometti, Giacometti, Rome

22
3 3
Jean Tardieu is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Jean Tardieu La part de l'ombre, Théâtre de chambre, Le Tardieu

23
3 3
Pierre Albert-Birot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Pierre Albert-Birot The first book of Grabinoulor

24
3 3
François Coppée is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
François Coppée Tales for Christmas and other seasons, A Romance Of Youth, Poésies choisies de François Coppée

25
2 2
Louise Labé is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Louise Labé Les sonnets. The sonnets, Sonnets, Œuvres poétiques

26
1 1
Léon Damas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Gabz29 added Léon Damas

27
7 8
Aimé Césaire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Aimé Césaire A Season in the Congo, Cahier d'un Retour au Pays Natal, Une Tempête

28
5 6
Louise Colet is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Louise Colet Lui, a view of him

29
3 4
Maurice Scève is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Maurice Scève Emblems of Desire, Délie

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30
2 3
Maurice Chappaz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Maurice Chappaz

31
2 3
Placide Cappeau is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Placide Cappeau

32
2 3
Pierre Jean Jouve is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Pierre Jean Jouve Despair has wings, Hélène, Paulina 1880

33
2 3
Edmond Jabes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Edmond Jabes Le parcours, Ça suit son cours, Un regard

34
2 3
Paul Déroulède is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Paul Déroulède

35
6 8
Abdellatif Laabi is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Abdellatif Laabi Le Fou d'espoir, The world's embrace

36
5 7
Andrée Chedid is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Andrée Chedid La Cité Fertile, Sobre-vivencia de soles, Par-delà les mots

37
1 3
Henri de Régnier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time

38
1 3
Tristan Derème is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Tristan Derème

39
1 3
Christine de Pizan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Christine de Pizan Lavision-Christine

40
1 3
Roger Gilbert-Lecomte is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Roger Gilbert-Lecomte Black mirror

41
6 9
Louise-Victorine Ackermann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time

42
3 6
Arnold Jacques Silver is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Arnold Jacques Silver Saint Joan, Bernard Shaw, the darker side

43
2 5
André du Bouchet is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
André du Bouchet Where heat looms

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44
2 5
Henry Bauchau is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Henry Bauchau Œdipe sur la route, Le Régiment Noir, La chine intérieure

45
2 5
Claude Esteban is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Claude Esteban A Smile Between the Stones, Traces, figures

46
2 5
Anne Hébert is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Anne Hébert

47
1 4
Dominique Sorrente is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Dominique Sorrente

48
0 3
Roger Vitrac is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Roger Vitrac

49
1 5
Louky Bersianik is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time

50
8 14
Jean Genet is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Jean Genet The Maids, Our Lady of the Flowers, The Miracle of the Rose