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.

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

Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
09 April 1821

Arthur RimbaudArthur Rimbaud
20 October 1854

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

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

Jean GenetJean Genet
19 December 1910

François RabelaisFrançois Rabelais
04 February 1494
Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine
30 March 1844

Christine de PizanChristine de Pizan
1364 AD
Poet & Author
Stéphane MallarméStéphane Mallarmé
18 March 1842

Robert W. ServiceRobert W. Service
16 January 1874
Poet & Writer

Alphonse DaudetAlphonse Daudet
13 May 1840
Novelist, Short story writer, playwright, poet

Alphonse de LamartineAlphonse de Lamartine
21 October 1790

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

Paul ValeryPaul Valery
30 October 1871
Eduard LimonovEduard Limonov
22 February 1943
Writer, Dissident, Politician, Poet, Human rights

Michel HouellebecqMichel Houellebecq
26 February 1956
Poet, Film director, Songwriter, Essayist,
Dora MaarDora Maar
22 November 1907
Photographer, Artist, Painter, Poet,

Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD
Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
25 August 1880

Henrik, Prince Consort of DenmarkHenrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
11 June 1934
Poet, Writer, Visual artist, Pianist
Mylène FarmerMylène Farmer
12 September 1961
Singer-songwriter, Writer, Singer, Actor,

Chris MarkerChris Marker
29 July 1921
Film producer, Film critic, Film director,

Jean de La FontaineJean de La Fontaine
08 July 1621
Writer, Poet, Lawyer
Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,

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Bertrand CantatBertrand Cantat
05 March 1964
Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist, Singer-songwriter,
0027 AD

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

Boris VianBoris Vian
10 March 1920
Polymath, Singer, Poet, Trumpeter, Lyricist,

Georges PerecGeorges Perec
07 March 1936
Writer, Film director, Screenwriter, Poet,
Paul CelanPaul Celan
23 November 1920
Tristan TzaraTristan Tzara
16 April 1896
Art collector, Poet, Writer, Diplomat, Film

Georges BrassensGeorges Brassens
22 October 1921

Charles MaurrasCharles Maurras
20 April 1868

Paul ÉluardPaul Éluard
14 December 1895
French poet
Guillaume de MachautGuillaume de Machaut
1300 AD

Yevgeny ZamyatinYevgeny Zamyatin
01 February 1884

Jacques PrévertJacques Prévert
04 February 1900

Jean ArpJean Arp
16 September 1886

Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard
27 June 1884
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, University teacher
Alfred JarryAlfred Jarry
08 September 1873
Playwright, Writer, Poet, Novelist

Francis PicabiaFrancis Picabia
22 January 1879
Painter, Writer, Screenwriter, Poet
François VillonFrançois Villon
01 April 1431
poet, writer

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

Gérard de NervalGérard de Nerval
25 May 1808
Emmanuelle RivaEmmanuelle Riva
24 February 1927
Actor, Photographer, Poet

Adah Isaacs MenkenAdah Isaacs Menken
15 June 1835
Louis AragonLouis Aragon
03 October 1897
Writer, Journalist, Politician, Poet, Novelist,

François MauriacFrançois Mauriac
11 October 1885
Writer, Journalist, Poet, Novelist, Playwright,

John Scotus EriugenaJohn Scotus Eriugena
0815 AD

Comte de LautréamontComte de Lautréamont
04 April 1846
Poet, Writer

Paul ClaudelPaul Claudel
06 August 1868
Playwright, Poet, Diplomat, Writer, Diarist, Poet
Raymond QueneauRaymond Queneau
21 February 1903
Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter,

Max JacobMax Jacob
12 July 1876
Painter, Poet, Writer, Literary critic

François FénelonFrançois Fénelon
06 August 1651

Pierre de RonsardPierre de Ronsard
11 September 1524
Poet, Writer
Blaise CendrarsBlaise Cendrars
01 September 1887
War correspondent, Journalist, Poet, Writer,

Robert BrasillachRobert Brasillach
31 March 1909
Writer, Journalist, Film critic, Novelist, Poet,
Jean-Henri FabreJean-Henri Fabre
21 December 1823

Pierre LouÿsPierre Louÿs
10 December 1870

Émile BernardÉmile Bernard
28 April 1868
Painter, Poet, Writer
Robert DesnosRobert Desnos
04 July 1900

Sully PrudhommeSully Prudhomme
16 March 1839
Poet, Writer, Essayist, Diarist
Breyten BreytenbachBreyten Breytenbach
16 September 1939
Poet, Writer, Painter

Charles PéguyCharles Péguy
07 January 1873

Édouard GlissantÉdouard Glissant
21 September 1928
03 October 1886
French author

Raymond RadiguetRaymond Radiguet
18 June 1903
Léon BloyLéon Bloy
11 July 1846
Writer, Poet, Essayist, Journalist, Novelist,

Henri MichauxHenri Michaux
24 May 1899
Painter, Poet, Writer

Fernando ArrabalFernando Arrabal
11 August 1932
Screenwriter, Film director, Actor, Playwright,

Saint-John PerseSaint-John Perse
31 May 1887
Poet, Writer, Diplomat
Zygmunt KrasińskiZygmunt Krasiński
19 February 1812
Nicolas Boileau-DespréauxNicolas Boileau-Despréaux
01 November 1636

Laura de NovesLaura de Noves
1310 AD

Bernard Le Bovier de FontenelleBernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle
11 February 1657
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, Playwright, Satirist,

Nicolas ChamfortNicolas Chamfort
06 April 1741
Frédéric MistralFrédéric Mistral
08 September 1830
Writer, lexicographer,Poet

André ChénierAndré Chénier
30 October 1762
French poet

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

Joachim du BellayJoachim du Bellay
01 May 1522

Adelbert von ChamissoAdelbert von Chamisso
30 January 1781
Botanist, Poet, Pteridologist, Bryologist, Writer
Gottfried von StrassburgGottfried von Strassburg

René CharRené Char
14 June 1907
Poet, Writer
Robert de BoronRobert de Boron

Louise LabéLouise Labé
1522 AD
Pierre ReverdyPierre Reverdy
13 September 1889
Vernon LeeVernon Lee
14 October 1856