CLéMENT MAROT (23 November 1496 – 12 September 1544) was a French
poet of the
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Youth * 1.2 At the French court * 1.3 In Paris * 1.4 In Ferrara * 1.5 Back in Paris * 1.6 Later life
* 2 Editions * 3 Influence * 4 References * 5 External links
Marot was born at
Cahors , the capital of the province of
some time during the winter of 1496-1497. His father,
Jean Marot (c.
1463-1523), whose more correct name appears to have been des Mares,
Marais or Marets, was a Norman from the
It was the time of the _rhétoriqueurs_, poets who combined stilted language with a fondness for the allegorical manner of the 15th century and the most complicated and artificial forms of the _ballade _ and the _rondeau _. Clément began as a "rhétoriqueur", though he later helped overthrow this style. He wrote panegyrics to Guillaume Crétin and translated Virgil 's first eclogue in 1512. He soon gave up the study of law and became page to Nicolas de Neufville, seigneur de Villeroy , which led to his introduction into court life. The house of Valois , which would hold the throne of France for the greater part of a century, was devoted to literature.
AT THE FRENCH COURT
As early as 1514, before the accession of King Francis I , Clément
presented to him his _Judgment of
Minos _, and shortly afterward he
was either styled or styled himself _facteur (poet) de la reine_ to
Queen Claude . In 1519 he was attached to the suite of Marguerite
d'Alençon, the king's sister, (later to become Marguerite de Navarre
), a great patron of the arts. He was also a great favourite of
Francis himself, attended the
Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520, and
duly celebrated it in verse. In the next year he was at the camp in
Marot, like most of Marguerite's literary court, was attracted by her
grace, her kindness, and her intellectual accomplishments, but there
is no grounds for thinking that they had a romantic relationship.
During this time his poetic style began to change, becoming much less
artificial. Some of his poems praise a lady named "Diane", whom some
have identified with
Diane de Poitiers
In 1524, Marot accompanied King Francis on his disastrous Italian
campaign. The king was taken prisoner at the
Battle of Pavia
In 1532 he published (it had perhaps appeared three years earlier), under the title of _Adolescence Clémentine_, the first printed collection of his works, which was very popular and was frequently reprinted with additions. Unfortunately, the poet's enemies ensured that Marot was implicated in the 1534 Affair of the Placards , and this time he fled.
He passed through Nérac, the court of Navarre, and made his way to Renée, duchess of Ferrara , a supporter of the Protestant Reformation in France—as steadfast as her sister-in-law Marguerite, and even more efficacious, because her dominions were outside France. At Ferrara his work there included the celebrated _Blasons_ (a descriptive poem, improved upon medieval models), which set all the verse-writers of France imitating them. The _blason_ was defined by Thomas Sébillet as a perpetual praise or continuous vituperation of its subject. The _blasons_ of Marot's followers were printed in 1543 with the title of _Blasons anatomiques du corps féminin_.
BACK IN PARIS
Duchess Renée was not able to persuade her husband, Ercole d\'Este ,
to share her views, and Marot had to leave
Ferrara . He went to Venice
, but before very long
Pope Paul III remonstrated with Francis I on
the severity with which the
It was at this time that his famous and influential translations of the _ Psalms _ appeared. Each courtier identified his or her favorite psalms, and the poems were sung in the court and in the city. It is said, probably with exaggeration, that these translations did more than anything else to advance the cause of the Protestant Reformation in France. Marot's translations of the Psalms continued to be sung for centuries by Protestant congregations.
At the same time Marot engaged in a literary quarrel with a poet named François de Sagon , who represented the Sorbonne . Verse-writers of France aligned themselves as _Marotiques_ or _Sagontiques_, and abuse was exchanged. Victory, as far as wit was concerned, was with Marot, but at the cost of ill-will against him.
Marot edited the works of his fellow poet
François Villon . Although
the _Psalms_ were published in 1541 and 1543 with royal privilege, the
Sorbonne still objected to translations from the Bible into French. In
1543, it was evident that Marot could not rely on the protection of
the king, therefore he left for
The most important early editions of Marot's _Œuvres_ were published
Many of Marot's texts were set as chansons , particularly by his contemporary Claudin de Sermisy .
* ^ Tilley, Arthur (1904). "Chapter IV. Marot". _The Literature of
the French Renaissance_. Vol. I. Cambridge University Press. pp.
* ^ Rawles, Stephen (1976). "An un-recorded edition of the works of
Clement Marot printed by Denis Janot". _Bibliothèque d\'Humanisme et
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* _ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Marot, Clément". Encyclopædia Britannica _ (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Free scores by Clément