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(c. 1431 – after 5 January 1463 / Paris)

François Villon
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François Villon was a French poet, thief, and vagabond. He is perhaps best known for his Testaments and his Ballade des Pendus, written while in prison. The question "Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?", taken from the Ballade des dames du temps jadis and translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as "Where are the snows of yesteryear?", is one of the most famous lines of translated secular poetry in the English-speaking world.

Life

Villon's real surname has been a matter of dispute; he has been called François de Montcorbier and François Des Loges and other names, though in literature Villon is the sole name used. Villon was born in 1431, almost certainly in Paris. The ... more »

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  • John Xavier (4/17/2012 2:20:00 PM)

    It is Villon, in the French: Je connais tout fors que moi-mesme.

    I know everything except myself is certainly a good translation of the Villon line, which appears on more than one page of his work. John Xavier, M.A. (French) .

  • Maan Maan (12/1/2008 2:22:00 PM)

    I want to know if it's francois villon who has the poem: 'I know everything except myself'

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