The Best French Language Poets of All Time

Over 300 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Voting 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.

Ranked by
  • Charles Baudelaire
    114 votes
    Les Fleurs du mal, 33 Poemas Simbolistas, Poems in prose from Charles Baudelaire
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    94 votes
    A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems
  • Victor Hugo
    76 votes
    Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades
  • Stéphane Mallarmé
    13 votes
    Poésies, Nachmittagstraum eines Fauns, Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard
  • Paul Verlaine
    50 votes
    Sagesse, Selected poems, Poems
  • Guillaume Apollinaire
    39 votes
    L'hérésiarque et Cie, Les Onze Mille Verges ou les Amours d'un hospodar, Alcools