Jules Laforgue (Montevideo, 16 August 1860 – Paris, 20 August 1887) was an innovative French poet, often referred to as a Symbolist poet. Critics and commentators have also pointed to Impressionism as a direct influence and his poetry has been called part-symbolist, part-impressionist.Strongly influenced by Walt Whitman, Laforgue was one of the first French poets to write in free verse.
Philosophically, he was an ardent disciple of Schopenhauer and Von Hartmann. His poetry would be one of the major influences on the young T. S. Eliot (cf. Prufrock and other observations) and Ezra Pound. Louis Untermeyer wrote, Prufrock, published in 1917, was immediately hailed as a new manner in English literature and belittled as an echo of Laforgue and the French symbolists to whom Eliot was indebted.