PARIS - Yves Bonnefoy , France’s most famous contemporary poet and celebrated translator of Shakespeare whose poems were translated into 30 languages, has died at the age of 93, officials confirmed Saturday.

The prolific writer, essayist and poet , who composed more than 100 books over his long career, was often tipped as favourite to win the Nobel prize for literature.

Famous in Italy, Germany and Switzerland but also throughout the English-speaking world, Bonnefoy also produced translations of the works of Yeats, Petrarch and his friend George Seferis, a celebrated Greek poet . He died on Friday, according to the College de France research and education institute where he was an honorary professor. Admirers from around the world took to Twitter to mourn Bonnefoy , known for his piercing gaze and mop of white hair, many of them quoting lines from his most famous works.