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PONTUS DE TYARD (c. 1521-1605)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 71 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PONTUS DE TYARD (c. 1521-1605), French poet and member of the Pleiade (see DAURAT), was seigneur of Bissy in Burgundy, where he was born in or about 1521. He was a friend of Antoine Hemet and Maurice Sceve, and to a certain extent anticipated Ronsard and Joachim Du Bellay. His Erreurs amoureuses, originally published in 1549, was augmented with other poems in successive editions till 1573. On the whole his poetry is inferior to that of his companions, but he was one of the first to write sonnets in French (the actual priority belongs to Melin de St Gelais). It is also said that he introduced the sestine into France, or rather reintroduced it, for it was originally a Provencal invention. In his later years he gave himself up to the study of mathematics and philosophy. He became bishop of Chalons-sur-Saone in 1578, and in 1587 appeared his Discours philosophiques. He was a zealous defender of the cause of Henry III. against the pretensions of the Guises. This attitude brought down on him the vengeance of the league; he was driven from Chalons and his chateau at Bissy was plundered. He survived all the members of the Pleiade and lived to see the onslaught made on their doctrines by Malherbe. Pontus resigned his bishopric in 1594, and retired to the chateau de Bragny, where he died on the 23rd of September 16o5. His Oeuvres poetiques may be found in the Pleiade fran4aise (7,875) of M. Ch. Marty-Laveaux..
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