Can you imagine coming into the world the same day that your mother loses another child? This is the way that Coriolan Ardouin started out in life. The day he was born, one of his siblings died. And two months before the death of that sibling…the family had lost another sibling.
He was a fragile child. When he was 12, in the space of four months he lost his father, his nephew, his mother and older sister. His entourage got hopeful when Ardouin fell in love with Amèlia, a local girl—only to lose her less than a good 6 months after marrying her.
This time, it was too much for him to take. For a while, he held on, but passed away in July of 1835—less than a year after her death—of a shattered heart, no doubt.
Ardouin, who was born on December 11th of the year 1812 in a city in Haiti called Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, had most of his poetry made public posthumously. Nearly a half century after his death, two of his nephews had the first complete collection of his poems published as a book. His poems ranged from romantic to celebratory. “Floriana, La Fiancée”, for example, uses Haiti’s Arawak past as a methaphor to celebrate love, while “Pétion” sung the praises of one of Haiti’s founding founders, and “Mariani” called attention to the unspoiled beauty of Haiti.
He remains one of Haiti’s most enigmatic poets.