Coriolan Ardouin


(Born Petit-Trou-de-Nippes in 1812; died in Port-de-Prince, 1835)

Coriolan Ardouin’s life was shrouded in misery and marked by loss, the subject of his well-known poem "La Tristesse." According to Berrou, the poet's older brother passed away shortly after Ardouin's birth, and medical issues prevented him from attending school until he was seven years old. Ardouin enrolled at the Institute of Jonathas Granville, where he met and befriended future poet Ignace Nau (130-133). As recounted in "La Tristesse," the poet's parents passed away when he was just fifteen years old, thus causing him unfathomable grief. Berrou notes that Ardouin's fascination for writing and poetry took root after high school when he began crafting his own works. A religious man, his faith appears throughout his poetry, as does his love for his wife. Unfortunately, she was already sick when they met, and she died in 1835, five months after their wedding. According to Berrou, Ardouin himself contracted tuberculosis from looking after his wife and died the following year (130-133). All of his poetry, or what little was found, was published posthumously in Ignace Nau’s L’Union (Morpeau, 49). The 28-page Reliquae d'un poète haïtien edited by Emile Nau in 1837 can be consulted at the Bibliotheque nationale de France and it has be republished in modern editions under the title Poésies complètes.

Biography by Emeline Frix, 2022


“Ardouin, Coriolan (1812-1835).” Catalogue Général,

Berrou Raphaël, and Pradel Pompilus. Histoire de la littérature haïtienne illustrée par les textes.Ed. Caraïbes, 1975.

Dieulermesson Petit Frère, "Dossier Coriolan Ardouin." Web site "Ile en Ile," 2021. In French with a detailed bibliography.

Dubreuil, Laurent. “Francophone Circulation: Coriolan Ardouin, Charles Baudelaire, and the Black Butterfly Effect.” L’Esprit Créateur, vol. 56, no. 1, 2016, pp. 40–51. JSTOR,

Morpeau, Louis.Anthologie d'un siècle de poésie haïtienne 1817-1925.Bossard, 1924.

Nau, Émile. Reliquae d'un poète haïtien. impr. de T. Bouchereau, 1837.


Subscribe to RSS Feed

Saturday, January 1st
12:00 AM

Anacaona (exerpt from Floranna la Fiancée) / Anacaona

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Daniel Buchwald

Floranna la Fiancée / Floranna the Fiancée

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Bertange Sévère

La Tristesse / Sadness

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Miriam Patterson

Le Départ du négrier / The Slaver's Departure

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Laetitia Zicchinella

Sunday, January 1st
12:00 AM

A un ami / To a Friend

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Dylan Veit

La Brise au tombeau d'Emma / The Breeze at Emma's Tomb

Coriolan Ardouin

Translation: Ann Delva