READ Famous Poets from France

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Here's an extensive list of notable or famous poets from France, with bios and photos, including the top poets born in France and even some popular poets who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French poets then this list is the perfect resource for you. These poets are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known poet from France is included when available.

Famous French writers of poems on this list include Adam de la Ralle and Arthur Rimbaud.

This historic poets from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French poets of note?" and "Who are the most famous poets from France?" These prominent poets of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French poets.

Use this list of renowned French poets to discover some new poets that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 

1
Adam de la Halle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Poets from France
Adam de la Halle Adam de la Halle, also known as Adam le Bossu was a French-born trouvère, poet and musician, whose literary and musical works include chansons and jeux-partis in the style of the ...more

2
Adélaïde Dufrénoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Poets from France
Adélaïde Dufrénoy Died at 60 (1765-1825) Adélaïde-Gillette Dufrénoy was a French poet and painter from Brittany. The daughter of Jacques Billet, a jeweller for the Crown of Poland, she had a lavish education and ...more

3
Aimé Césaire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Poets from France
Aimé Césaire Died at 95 (1913-2008) Aimé Fernand David Césaire was a Francophone and French poet, author and politician from Martinique. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in ...more

4
Alexandre Soumet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Poets from France
Alexandre Soumet Died at 57 (1788-1845) Alexandre Soumet was a French poet.

5
Alfred de Musset is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Poets from France
Alfred de Musset Died at 47 (1810-1857) Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing La Confession d'un enfant du siècle from 1836.

6
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Poets from France
Alphonse Daudet Died at 57 (1840-1897) Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. He was the father of writers Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet.

7
Alphonse de Lamartine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Poets from France
Alphonse de Lamartine Died at 79 (1790-1869) Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine, chevalier de Pratz, was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic and the continuation of the ...more

8
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Poets from France
Anatole France Died at 80 (1844-1924) Anatole France was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, ...more

9
André Breton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Poets from France
André Breton Died at 70 (1896-1966) André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as ...more

10
André Frénaud is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Poets from France
André Frénaud Died at 86 (1907-1993) First known for his war-time poems written from a German labour camp - notably his sombre reworkings of the myth of the Magi - André Frénaud is one of the most searching of French ...more

11
Anna de Noailles is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Poets from France
Anna de Noailles Died at 57 (1876-1933) Anna, Comtesse Mathieu de Noailles was a Romanian-French writer.

12
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Poets from France
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Died at 44 (1900-1944) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, officially Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint Exupéry was a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate ...more

13
Armand Gatti is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Poets from France
Armand Gatti age 94 Armand Gatti is a French playwright, poet, journalist, screenwriter, filmmaker and former WW II resistance fighter. His debut film Enclosure was entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film ...more

14
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Poets from France
Arthur Rimbaud Died at 37 (1854-1891) Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet born in Charleville, Ardennes. He influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured surrealism. He started writing ...more

15
Bernard Casadesus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Poets from France
Bernard Casadesus Died at 71 (1923-1994) Bernard Casadesus was a musicologist, singer and poet.

16
Blaise Cendrars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Poets from France
Blaise Cendrars Died at 74 (1887-1961) Frédéric-Louis Sauser, better known as Blaise Cendrars, was a Swiss-born novelist and poet who became a naturalized French citizen in 1916. He was a writer of considerable ...more

17
Breyten Breytenbach is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Poets from France
Breyten Breytenbach age 78 Breyten Breytenbach is a South African writer and painter of great eminence. He is informally considered as the national poet laureate by Afrikaans speaking South Africans of the region. He also ...more

18
Carlos Alvarado-Larroucau is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Poets from France
Carlos Alvarado-Larroucau age 54 Carlos Alvarado-Larroucau is an Argentine-born French author. Born in Argentina in 1964.

19
Casimir Delavigne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Poets from France
Casimir Delavigne Died at 50 (1793-1843) Jean-François Casimir Delavigne was a French poet and dramatist.

20
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Poets from France
Charles Baudelaire Died at 46 (1821-1867) Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal, ...more

21
Charles Le Goffic is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Poets from France
Charles Le Goffic Died at 79 (1853-1932) Charles Le Goffic was a French poet, novelist and historian whose influence was especially strong in his native Brittany. He was a member of the Académie française.

22
Charles-Julien Lioult de Chêne... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Poets from France
Charles-Julien Lioult de Chênedollé Died at 64 (1769-1833) Charles-Julien Lioult de Chênedollé was a French poet.

23
Claude Nougaro is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Poets from France
Claude Nougaro Died at 75 (1929-2004) Claude Nougaro was a French songwriter and singer.

24
Danielle Collobert is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Poets from France
Danielle Collobert Died at 38 (1940-1978) 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. Her mother, a teacher, ...more

25
Dmitri Savitski is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Poets from France
Dmitri Savitski age 74 Dmitri Petrovich Savitski is a Russian writer and poet.

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Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Poets from France
Edmond Rostand Died at 50 (1868-1918) Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand's romantic plays contrasted ...more

27
Emmanuelle Riva is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Poets from France
Emmanuelle Riva age 91 Emmanuelle Riva is a French actress, best known for her roles in the films Hiroshima mon amour and Amour. In 2013, Riva won the BAFTA Award and the César Award for her lead role in ...more

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Eugène Guillevic is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Poets from France
Eugène Guillevic Died at 90 (1907-1997) Eugène Guillevic was one of the better known French poets of the second half of the 20th century. Professionally, he went under just the single name "Guillevic".

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Ferdinand Lemaire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Poets from France
Ferdinand Lemaire Died at 47 (1832-1879) Ferdinand Lemaire was a French librettist and poet, best known for writing the libretto of Camille Saint-Saëns's opera Samson et Dalila. Lemaire was a creole, originally from Martinique, ...more

30
Fernando Arrabal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Poets from France
Fernando Arrabal age 83 Fernando Arrabal Terán is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. Arrabal was born in Melilla, Spain, but settled in France in 1955; he describes himself as ...more

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Francis Jammes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Poets from France
Francis Jammes Died at 70 (1868-1938) Francis Jammes was a French poet. Coming from an ancient family, he spent most of his life in his native region of Béarn and the Basque Country and his poems are known for their lyricism ...more

32
Francis Ponge is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Poets from France
Francis Ponge Died at 89 (1899-1988) Francis Jean Gaston Alfred Ponge was a French essayist and poet. Influenced by surrealism, he developed a form of prose poem, minutely examining everyday objects. He was the third recipient of ...more

33
François Cheng is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Poets from France
François Cheng age 88 François Cheng is a Chinese-born French academician, writer, poet and calligrapher. He is the author of essays, novels, collections of poetry and books on art written in the French ...more

34
François Coppée is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Poets from France
François Coppée Died at 66 (1842-1908) François Edouard Joachim Coppée was a French poet and novelist.

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François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Poets from France
François Mauriac Died at 85 (1885-1970) François Charles Mauriac was a French author, member of the Académie française, and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the

36
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Poets from France
François Villon Died at 32 (1431-1463) François Villon born in Paris in 1431 and disappeared from view in 1463, is the best known French poet of the late Middle Ages. A ne'er-do-well who was involved in criminal behavior and ...more

37
Frédéric Mistral is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Poets from France
Frédéric Mistral Died at 84 (1830-1914) Frédéric Mistral was a French writer and lexicographer of the Occitan language. Mistral received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of the fresh originality ...more

38
Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Poets from France
Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu Died at 81 (1639-1720) Guillaume Amfrye de Chaulieu, French poet and wit, was born at Fontenay, Normandy. His father, maître des comptes of Rouen, sent him to study at the Collège de Navarre. Guillaume ...more

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Guillaume Apollinaire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Poets from France
Guillaume Apollinaire Died at 38 (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire, born Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish descent. Apollinaire is ...more

40
Guillaume de Machaut is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Poets from France
Guillaume de Machaut Died at 77 (1300-1377) Guillaume de Machaut was a medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available. According to Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, ...more

41
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Poets from France
Guy de Maupassant Died at 43 (1850-1893) Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents. Maupassant was a ...more

42
Henri Meschonnic is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Poets from France
Henri Meschonnic Died at 77 (1932-2009) Henry Meschonnic was a French poet, linguist, essayist and translator. He's remembered today as both a theoretician of language and as a translator of the Old Testament. The 710-page Critique du ...more

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Henry David Thoreau is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Poets from France
Henry David Thoreau Died at 45 (1817-1862) Henry David Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, sage writer and philosopher. He is best known for his book Walden, a ...more

44
Isidore Isou is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Poets from France
Isidore Isou Died at 82 (1925-2007) Isidore Isou, born Ioan-Isidor Goldstein, was a Romanian-born French poet, film critic and visual artist. He was the founder of Lettrism, an art and literary movement which owed inspiration to ...more

45
Jacques Bins, comte de Saint-V... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jacques Bins, comte de Saint-Victor Jacques-Maximilien Benjamin Bins, comte de Saint-Victor, a French poet and man of letters.

46
Jacques Pelletier du Mans is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jacques Pelletier du Mans Died at 65 (1517-1582) Jacques Pelletier du Mans, also spelled Peletier, in Latin: Peletarius, was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance. Born at Le Mans into a bourgeois family, he studied at ...more

47
Jacques Prévert is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jacques Prévert Died at 77 (1900-1977) Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. His best regarded films formed part of the ...more

48
Jacques Roubaud is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jacques Roubaud age 85 Jacques Roubaud is a French poet and mathematician. Jacques Roubaud is a professor of poetry at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and he was a professor of Mathematics at ...more

49
Jean Bodel is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jean Bodel Died at 45 (1165-1210) Jean Bodel, who lived in the late twelfth century, was an Old French poet who wrote a number of chansons de geste as well as many fabliaux. He lived in Arras. Bodel wrote the Chanson de Saisnes, ...more

50
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Poets from France
Jean Cocteau Died at 74 (1889-1963) Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood ...more