French The Best French Language Poets of All Time  

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921 votes 210 voters 6.7k views 54 items

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
87 17
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Les Fleurs du mal, 33 Poemas Simbolistas, Poems in prose from Charles Baudelaire

2
57 20
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

3
56 21
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems

4
25 6
Paul Verlaine is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Sagesse, Selected poems, Poems

5
27 8
Guillaume Apollinaire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
L'hérésiarque et Cie, Les Onze Mille Verges ou les Amours d'un hospodar, Alcools

6
35 19
Philippe Beck is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Philippe Beck Sleve guard hypocrite, Crude Marivaux

7
11 1
Paul Éluard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Capitale de la douleur, 152 proverbes mis au gout du jour, Poesies

8
17 5
Jacques Prévert is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
RogerRamos added Children of Paradise, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Port of Shadows

9
27 14
Jean de La Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Après vous, M. de La Fontaine!, Fables Choisies

10
20 8
Paul Valéry is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
La Joven Parca, Charms and Other Pieces, Charmes

11
21 10
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Œuvres, Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder, Le grant testament Villon et le petit Son codicille. Le jargon. Les balades

12
13 5
Jules Laforgue is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Choix de poésies, Patrick Caulfield, Poems of Jules Laforgue

13
13 6
Joachim du Bellay is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Les Deux Poaetes Francais, Les regrets, précédé de Les antiquités de Rome et suivi de La défense et illustration de la langue française

14
11 6
André Chénier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Elegies and Camille

15
9 5
Francis Jammes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Le rosaire au soleil, Klára d'Ellébeuse, Le troisième livre des quatrains

16
8 4
Emile Verhaeren is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Sur James Ensor, Hugo et le romantisme, Ecrits sur l'art

17
6 2
Francis Ponge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added La table, Methodes, Entretiens de Francis Ponge avec Philippe Sollers

18
4 2
James Sacré is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
DomenicoWebb added James Sacré

19
8 8
Aimé Césaire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added A Season in the Congo, Cahier d'un Retour au Pays Natal, Une Tempête

20
6 6
Louise Colet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Lui, a view of him

21
4 4
Louise Labé is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Les sonnets. The sonnets, Sonnets, Œuvres poétiques

22
4 4
Emile Nellingan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
electrofab added Emile Nellingan

23
3 3
Pierre Jean Jouve is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Pierre Jean Jouve Despair has wings, Hélène, Paulina 1880

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

25
3 3
Edmond Jabes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Le parcours, Ça suit son cours, Un regard

26
1 1
Léopold Sédar Senghor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Gabz29 added Le plan du décollage économique, ou, La participation responsable comme moteur du développement

27
1 1
Léon Damas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Gabz29 added Léon Damas

28
8 9
Yves Bonnefoy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Alberto Giacometti, Giacometti, Rome

29
3 4
Pierre Albert-Birot is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Pierre Albert-Birot The first book of Grabinoulor

30
3 4
Jean Tardieu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Jean Tardieu La part de l'ombre, Théâtre de chambre, Le Tardieu

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

32
7 9
Louise-Victorine Ackermann is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time

33
6 8
Abdellatif Laabi is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
stubb added Le Fou d'espoir, The world's embrace

34
3 5
Maurice Scève is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Maurice Scève Emblems of Desire, Délie

35
3 5
Anne Hébert is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Anne Hébert

36
2 4
Christine de Pizan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Lavision-Christine

37
2 4
Dominique Sorrente is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Dominique Sorrente

38
2 4
Maurice Chappaz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Maurice Chappaz

39
2 4
Paul Déroulède is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Paul Déroulède

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
5 8
Andrée Chedid is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
La Cité Fertile, Sobre-vivencia de soles, Par-delà les mots

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

43
2 5
Henry Bauchau is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
Henry Bauchau Œdipe sur la route, Le Régiment Noir, La chine intérieure

44
2 5
Claude Esteban is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
A Smile Between the Stones, Traces, figures

45
2 5
André du Bouchet is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time
André du Bouchet Where heat looms

46
1 4
Henri de Régnier is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Language Poets of All Time

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

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
The Maids, Our Lady of the Flowers, The Miracle of the Rose