Ignace Nau


(Port-au-Prince, 1808 [?] to 1845)

Ignace Nau went to school at the Institute of Jonathas Granville (a military-like academy), then went on to complete his studies at a Catholic University or Institute in New York (Berrou 97-98; Léger). When he moved back to his home country of Haiti, he was hired as an artilleryman, but quit soon thereafter (Morpeau 59). While residing in Port-au-Prince in 1836, he joined forces with his brothers and some friends (like Coriolan Ardouin and his brothers) to found a cenacle. They began publishing a journal called Le Républicain (later renamed “L’Union” due to the government shutting them down after publishing anti-Republic sentiments) (Berrou 98). His wife, Marie-Elina Bélisaire, whom he married in 1833, proved a great source of inspiration for his poetry. Her death, in 1837, a source of great sorrow (Morpeau, 59). He is renowned as a short story writer (Léger) and the most prominent themes in his poetry are nature, love, melancholy, and faith.

Biography by Emeline Frix, 2022


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

Léger, Frenand. "Dossier Ignace Nau." Web site "Ile en Ile," 2021. In French with an extensive list of links to poems published in the literary reviews of his day.

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


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Saturday, January 1st
12:00 AM

La Mouche-à-feu / Lightning Bug (verse)

Ignace Nau

Translation: Emeline Frix

La Mouche-à-feu / The Firefly / Luciérnaga (prose)

Ignace Nau

Translation: Miriam Patterson

Les Pipirites / Pipirites

Ignace Nau

Translation: Axelle Sandt

"Marie" (excerpt)

Ignace Nau

Translation: El Khalil Telba

Sunday, January 1st
12:00 AM

A la belle-de-nuit / To the Beauty of the Night

Ignace Nau

Translation: Ann Delva