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Poetry by Mid-Nineteenth-Century Free People of Color

Poetry by Mid-Nineteenth-Century Free People of Color

(p.80) Chapter Seven Poetry by Mid-Nineteenth-Century Free People of Color
Louisiana Creole Literature
Catharine Savage Brosman
University Press of Mississippi

An important collective anthology of mostly lyrical poetry, called Les Cenelles (1845), by men belonging to the Free People of Color, or Gens de couleur libres, is the chief subject of this chapter. Armand Lanusse, who prepared the anthology, Joanni Questy, Victor Séjour, and Camille Thierry, as well as some others studied as prose writers in chapter 6, are among the poets reviewed. The features of their verse, especially the theme of love and the influence of the French Romantic poets, are brought out; ample quotation, with English translation, illustrates their verse. Thierry’s collection, Les Vagabondes, is studied separately. In addition, an important body of protest poetry from the 1860s (some by poets of Les Cenelles), originally published in newspapers, is examined for its themes and means of expression.

Keywords:   Poetry, Free People of Color, Les Cenelles, Camille Thierry, Protest poetry

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