Jehan Rictus

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Portrait of Jehan Rictus by Félix Vallotton

Jehan Rictus (September 21, 1867 – November 6, 1933) was a French poet, born Gabriel Randon in Boulogne-sur-Mer (in the 1900s, he legally changed his name to his mother's, Randon de Saint-Amand).

After an unhappy childhood and poor beginnings in the life, Gabriel Randon, having taken the pseudonym of Jehan Rictus (which he wrote 'Jehan-Rictus' at the end of hie life), found success in 1895 with poems in popular language which he interpreted in Parisian cabarets. These Soliloques du Pauvre (Soliloquies of the Poor) were published in 1897. A few other volumes of verse followed, until le Coeur populaire in 1914. At the time of World War I, he stopped publishing. He also forsook his anarchism for nationalist opinions. He is also the author of an autobiographical novel, Fil de fer, in regular French, and of a vast diary, the 5 first booklets of which have been published in 2005.


  • Les Soliloques du Pauvre (1897)
  • Doléances (1900)
  • Les Cantilènes du malheur (1902)
  • Les Soliloques du Pauvre (1903)
  • Fil de Fer (1906)
  • le Coeur populaire (1914)

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