Ronsard, Pierre de


Ronsard, Pierre de
(1524-1585)
   poet
   Born near Vendôme and trained as a royal page and then a squire, Pierre de Ronsard, upon becoming deaf, became a cleric and turned to books and poetry (1543). In 1544, he went to Paris, where he studied with classicists, including dorât (1544-50). With Joachim du bellay and others, he founded the famous pléiade, a group of seven writers dedicated to reforming the French language and literature. Remaining faithful to the principles set out in Défense et Illustration de la langue française, Ronsard first published his Odes (1550-52), scholarly poems modeled after the classical poets Pindar and Horace, which brought him the favor of King henry ii. In 1525, he wrote Amours de Cassandre, a series of love sonnets influenced by Petrarch. Ron-sard's fame increased as he published Continuation des amours (1556) and Hymnes (1555-56), and he would enjoy the friendship of King charles ix, whom he praised, along with the Catholic faith, in his Discours (1562-63). Ronsard's best-known love poetry is his Sonnets pour Hélène (1578), and he also began an epic, La Franciad (1572), on the origin of the French nation, which remained unfinished. During his lifetime called "Prince of Poets," Ron-sard would later be criticized by François de mal-herbe and Nicolas boileau and remained out of favor for two centuries, until being rediscovered by charles sainte-beuve and the romantics, who recognized him as the founder of a school of poetry and as a great lyric poet.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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