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Creole Echoes

The Francophone Poetry of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana

A collection of the first published works of Creole poets of the 1800s, in French, appearing beside the new English translations by the award-winning translator Norman R. Shapiro

Creole poets have always eluded easy definition, infusing European poetic forms with Louisiana themes and Native American and African influences to produce an impressive variety of often highly accomplished and always strikingly engaging verses. The first major collection of its kind, Creole Echoes contains over a hundred of these poems by more than thirty different poets--Louisiana residents of European, African, and Caribbean origin.

The poems gathered here exhibit the Creole poets' wide range of theme, tone, and sensibility. Somber elegies, whimsical verse, animal fables, love sonnets, odes to nature, curses, polemics, and lauds all find voices here.

"Creole Echoes is a truly important work: it preserves and makes accessible to readers some of Louisiana's indigenous works of literary art, the francophone poetry of both male and female Creoles of the nineteenth century. . . . A perfect capstone for the book is M. Lynn Weiss's fine introduction, serving as an excellent scholarly review of the dynamic, chaotic history of Louisiana, its loss of the French language, and the often-tragic fates of major francophone publications and Creole authors in Louisiana in the nineteenth century."--Arkansas Review

"In an important departure from most other collections, poems by French immigrants to Louisiana, white Creoles, and Creoles of color are included in Creole Echoes side by side, which gives full meaning to the term Creole as a racially non-specific term for anyone born of the New World as opposed to the Old. . . . [M. Lynn Weiss's] introduction alone would make the collectionworth reading, for it is one of the most succinct presentations of Louisiana literature in French that I have read."--Nineteenth-Century French Studies

"The wonderfully translated selections in Creole Voices vividly capture the joy and romance of life in New Orleans; the torment of racial oppression; the fragility of human life; and the many other sad and joy-filled realities of nineteenth century Creole Louisiana."--Caryn Cossť Bell, author of Revolution, Romanticism, and the Afro-Creole Protest Tradition in Louisiana

"A substantial contribution to the exploration of the multilingual legacy of the United States."--Wernor Sollers, Harvard University

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