French literature has an equally rich history, just like many other languages in the world. One of the earliest forms of French literature was poetry, a form which mushroomed during the medieval ages. Historical accounts suggest that poets such as Adam de la Halle had introduced the people of France to this literary form as early as 12th century A.D. Later on, poets like Paul Verlaine penned poetic masterpieces such as ‘Poèmes Saturniens’, which marked the pinnacle of French literature. A few other individuals who played a pivotal role in popularizing this literary form in this European nation were Catherine d'Amboise, Antonin Artaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire. These people went on to inspire many others to turn towards literature and the result was evident in the later part of the 19th and 20th centuries. This era witnessed great pieces of poetry, and the rise of names such as Louis Aragon and Natalie Clifford Barney, Who took the legacy of their predecessors forward. Here we bring you a collection of biographies of some of the most famous French poets. Read on and find out all about their life stories, timelines and also few interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

VoltaireVoltaire
21 November 1694
Writer
Victor HugoVictor Hugo
26 February 1802
Author & Poet

Guy de MaupassantGuy de Maupassant
05 August 1850
Novelist & Short Story Writer

Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
09 April 1821
Poet

Arthur RimbaudArthur Rimbaud
20 October 1854
Poet

Jean CocteauJean Cocteau
05 July 1889
Novelist, Poet, Artist & Filmmaker
Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi
22 November 1969
Graphic Novelist

François RabelaisFrançois Rabelais
04 February 1494
Writer

Christine de PizanChristine de Pizan
1364 AD
Poet & Author

Robert W. ServiceRobert W. Service
16 January 1874
Poet & Writer
Stéphane MallarméStéphane Mallarmé
18 March 1842
Poet

Alphonse de LamartineAlphonse de Lamartine
21 October 1790
Writer
Alphonse DaudetAlphonse Daudet
13 May 1840
Novelist, Short story writer, playwright, poet

Alfred de MussetAlfred de Musset
11 December 1810
Dramatist, Poet, Novelist

Alfred de VignyAlfred de Vigny
27 March 1797
Poet, Playwright, Novelist
Andre BretonAndre Breton
19 February 1896
Founder of Surrealism

Oscar MiloszOscar Milosz
28 May 1877
Poet
Paul ValeryPaul Valery
30 October 1871
Poet

Michel HouellebecqMichel Houellebecq
26 February 1956
Poet, Film director, Songwriter, Essayist,

Dora MaarDora Maar
22 November 1907
Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet,
Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Philosopher, Librarian, Poet, Novelist, Writer,

Aubrey BeardsleyAubrey Beardsley
21 August 1872
Illustrator
Jean GenetJean Genet
19 December 1910
Writer, Playwright, Poet, Film director,

Mylène FarmerMylène Farmer
12 September 1961
Singer-songwriter, Writer, Singer, Actor,

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD
Theologian, Philosopher, Composer, Linguist, Poet,

Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine
30 March 1844
Poet, Essayist, Writer, Librettist
Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet
Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
25 August 1880
Poet

Bertrand CantatBertrand Cantat
05 March 1964
Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist, Singer-songwriter,

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,

Paul ClaudelPaul Claudel
06 August 1868
Playwright, Poet, Diplomat, Writer, Diarist, Poet
Jean de La FontaineJean de La Fontaine
08 July 1621
Writer, Poet, Lawyer

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François-René de ChateaubriandFrançois-René de Chateaubriand
04 September 1768
Writer, Politician, Diplomat, Historian, Poet,

Henrik, Prince Consort of DenmarkHenrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
11 June 1934
Poet, Writer, Visual artist, Pianist

Adam de la HalleAdam de la Halle
1220 AD
composer, writer, poet, trouvère

PetroniusPetronius
0027 AD
Author
Tristan TzaraTristan Tzara
16 April 1896
Art collector, Poet, Writer, Diplomat, Film

Guillaume de MachautGuillaume de Machaut
1300 AD
Poet
Chris MarkerChris Marker
29 July 1921
Film producer, Film critic, Film director,

Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard
27 June 1884
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, University teacher

Jean ArpJean Arp
16 September 1886
Sculptor
Charles MaurrasCharles Maurras
20 April 1868
Author

Francis PicabiaFrancis Picabia
22 January 1879
Painter, Writer, Screenwriter, Poet
Boris VianBoris Vian
10 March 1920
Polymath, Singer, Poet, Trumpeter, Lyricist,

Edmond RostandEdmond Rostand
01 April 1868
Playwright, Writer, Poet, Essayist, Screenwriter

Alfred JarryAlfred Jarry
08 September 1873
Playwright, Writer, Poet, Novelist

Georges BrassensGeorges Brassens
22 October 1921
Poet, Singer-songwriter, Banjoist, Guitarist,

Eduard LimonovEduard Limonov
22 February 1943
Writer, Dissident, Politician, Poet, Human rights
Yevgeny ZamyatinYevgeny Zamyatin
01 February 1884
Author

Georges PerecGeorges Perec
07 March 1936
Writer, Film director, Screenwriter, Poet,

Paul CelanPaul Celan
23 November 1920
Poet

Jacques PrévertJacques Prévert
04 February 1900
Poet
François VillonFrançois Villon
01 April 1431
poet, writer

Louis AragonLouis Aragon
03 October 1897
Writer, Journalist, Politician, Poet, Novelist,
Gérard de NervalGérard de Nerval
25 May 1808
Writer

Emmanuelle RivaEmmanuelle Riva
24 February 1927
Actor, Photographer, Poet

François MauriacFrançois Mauriac
11 October 1885
Writer, Journalist, Poet, Novelist, Playwright,
Sully PrudhommeSully Prudhomme
16 March 1839
Poet, Writer, Essayist, Diarist

Adah Isaacs MenkenAdah Isaacs Menken
15 June 1835
Actress
François FénelonFrançois Fénelon
06 August 1651
Theologian

Comte de LautréamontComte de Lautréamont
04 April 1846
Poet, Writer

Raymond QueneauRaymond Queneau
21 February 1903
Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter,
Pierre de RonsardPierre de Ronsard
11 September 1524
Poet, Writer

Max JacobMax Jacob
12 July 1876
Painter, Poet, Writer, Literary critic
Charles PéguyCharles Péguy
07 January 1873
Poet

Robert DesnosRobert Desnos
04 July 1900
Poet

Blaise CendrarsBlaise Cendrars
01 September 1887
War correspondent, Journalist, Poet, Writer,

Édouard GlissantÉdouard Glissant
21 September 1928
Writer
Breyten BreytenbachBreyten Breytenbach
16 September 1939
Poet, Writer, Painter
Robert BrasillachRobert Brasillach
31 March 1909
Writer, Journalist, Film critic, Novelist, Poet,

Jean-Henri FabreJean-Henri Fabre
22 December 1823
Entomologist, Writer, University teacher, Poet

Claude Joseph Rouget de LisleClaude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
10 May 1760
Composer, Poet, Writer, Playwright

Émile BernardÉmile Bernard
28 April 1868
Painter, Poet, Writer
André ChénierAndré Chénier
30 October 1762
French poet

Henri MichauxHenri Michaux
24 May 1899
Painter, Poet, Writer

Léon BloyLéon Bloy
11 July 1846
Writer, Poet, Essayist, Journalist, Novelist,

Nicolas Boileau-DespréauxNicolas Boileau-Despréaux
01 November 1636
French poet

Saint-John PerseSaint-John Perse
31 May 1887
Poet, Writer, Diplomat
Fernando ArrabalFernando Arrabal
11 August 1932
Screenwriter, Film director, Actor, Playwright,

Frédéric MistralFrédéric Mistral
08 September 1830
Writer, lexicographer,Poet
Bernard Le Bovier de FontenelleBernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle
11 February 1657
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, Playwright, Satirist,

Joachim du BellayJoachim du Bellay
01 May 1522
Poet

Adelbert von ChamissoAdelbert von Chamisso
30 January 1781
Botanist, Poet, Pteridologist, Bryologist, Writer
Benjamin FondaneBenjamin Fondane
14 November 1898
Linguist, Poet, Librarian, Film director,

René CharRené Char
14 June 1907
Poet, Writer
Alain-FournierAlain-Fournier
03 October 1886
French author

Charles of ValoisCharles of Valois
12 March 1270
Author

Anna de NoaillesAnna de Noailles
15 November 1876
Writer, Salon-holder, Poet, Model

Paul ScarronPaul Scarron
04 July 1610
Poet
Alain de LilleAlain de Lille
1116 AD
Theologian, Philosopher

Alphonse AllaisAlphonse Allais
20 October 1854
Writer, Poet, Journalist, Screenwriter, Painter,
Emile VerhaerenEmile Verhaeren
21 May 1855
Belgian poet

Aime CesaireAime Cesaire
26 June 1913
 
Charles-Marie-René Leconte de LisleCharles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle
22 October 1818
French poet

Pierre Martin Victor Richard de LapradePierre Martin Victor Richard de Laprade
 
Paul ÉluardPaul Éluard
14 December 1895
French poet