poem index


Victor Hugo

Printer-friendly version
Victor Hugo
Texts about this Poet: 

Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France. He studied law from 1815 to 1818 and graduated from the law faculty in Paris. During this time, he also began a career in literature, founding the journal Conservateur Littéraire in 1819. He published his first book of poems, Odes et poesies diverses (Pélicier), in 1822. Hugo went on to publish numerous poetry collections and is considered one of the great French Romantic poets. However, he is perhaps best known for his novels, which include Les Misérables (Carleton, 1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (R. Bentley, 1833). Also known for his political involvement, Hugo served in Paris’s Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly after the Revolution of 1848. After a coup d-etat in 1851, he fled France to live in Belgium and, later, the Channel Islands. In 1871 he returned to Paris, where he was received as a national hero. He died on May 22, 1885, and was buried in the Panthéon.

by this poet

Boaz, overcome with weariness, by torchlight 
made his pallet on the threshing floor 
where all day he had worked, and now he slept 
among the bushels of threshed wheat.

The old man owned wheatfields and barley, 
and though he was rich, he was still fair-minded. 
No filth soured the sweetness of his well. 


You can see it already: chalks and ochers; 
   Country crossed with a thousand furrow-lines;
Ground-level rooftops hidden by the shrubbery; 
   Sporadic haystacks standing on the grass;
Smoky old rooftops tarnishing the landscape; 
   A river (not Cayster or Ganges, though:
A feeble Norman salt-