Pablo Neruda's French Equivalent?
January 18, 2010 3:34 PM   Subscribe

What French-language poets remind you of Pablo Neruda?

Pablo Neruda's poems, written in Spanish, have made a big impression on me because of how honestly they describe romantic love, from the passion and obsessive longing to the pain and heartbreak when it's lost. Because I study French, not Spanish, I'd like to find French poetry in a similar vein, poetry that can be bittersweet and that uses natural imagery. One suggestion I've already received is Arthur Rimbaud. Can you think of any other French poets (or specific French-language poems or books) whose subjects or styles are similar to those of Neruda?
posted by datarose to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps Paul Éluard, Paul Valéry, Jacques Prévert, or Yves Bonnefoy.

Btw, two good anthologies of modern French poetry are:
a) The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century French Poetry
b) The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 4:38 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also maybe Aimé Césaire, the Afro-Martinican francophone poet associated with the "negritude poets" of the former French colonies.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 4:47 PM on January 18, 2010

Leconte de Lisle, Charles Cros, Tristan Corbiere, Jules Laforgue, Jean Moreas, Germain Nouveau.

Neruda was greatly influenced by Charles Baudelaire, Walt Whitman, and Alphonse de Lamartine, so you'd probably like them as well.
posted by aquafortis at 4:53 PM on January 18, 2010

Try the Surrealist poets of the 1920s and 1930s. Éluard, Valéry, and Prévert are in that vague category...also try André Breton.
posted by fantine at 5:00 PM on January 18, 2010

Louis Aragon (he is also the one who wrote the text of this beautiful song on Pablo Neruda, sung by Jean Ferrat).
posted by rom1 at 3:45 AM on January 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you all so much for your recommendations!
posted by datarose at 5:51 AM on January 19, 2010

Everyone I thought of has been named except Verlaine, especially the book Romances sans paroles.
posted by Kattullus at 6:13 AM on January 19, 2010

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