Pierre De Ronsard

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ronsard, Pierre De


Born Sept. 11, 1524, in the Château de la Poissonnière, in Vendôme; died Dec. 27, 1585, in the abbey of Saint Cosme-sur-Loire, Touraine. French poet. Leader of the Pléiade.

In his Odes (1550–52), in which he imitated Pindar and Horace, Ronsard spoke of the lofty role of literature and propounded a theory of poetic inspiration. The odes combined patriotism and glorification of the joys of existence, nature, and love. The collection of sonnets and songs Poems of Love (1552–53) was influenced by Petrarchianism. In the cycles of sonnets (1555–56) dedicated to the peasant girl Marie Dupin, Ronsard described lyric feelings simply and naturally.

Ronsard’s philosophic interests were reflected in Hymns (1555, 1556), in which the poet reflected on life and death, the vagaries of fate, and moral duty. Religious motifs were developed in the political poems Discourses on the Troubles of the Times (1560–62). Ronsard summarized his theoretical views in Summary of the Art of Poetry (1565). In the cycle Sonnets for Helen (1578) he strove to attain classical clarity and balance, but the sonnets remained somewhat mannered.

Ronsard’s work encompassed almost all the lyric and epic genres of his time, from the heroic epic (La Franciade, 1572) to the intimate lyric. He influenced the entire development of French poetry of the second half of the 16th century and poets of other countries as well.


Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1–18. Paris, 1914–67 (in course of publication).
Oeuvres complètes [vols. 1–2. Paris, 1958].
In Russian translation:
Ronsar. Translated by S. V. Shervinskii. Moscow, 1926.
Lirika. Translated by V. Levik. Moscow, 1963.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Champion, P. Ronsard et son temps. Paris, 1925.
Laumonier, P. Ronsard poète lyrique, 3rd ed. Paris, 1932.
Desonay, F. Ronsard, poète de l’amour, books 1–3, Brussels, 1952–59.
Terreaux, L. Ronsard. Geneva, 1968.
Dassonville, M. Ronsard, vols. 1–2. Geneva, 1968–70.
Spaziani, M. L. Ronsardfra gli astri delle Pléiade. Turin, 1972.
Ronsard the Poet. London [1973].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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