Poésie de l'absence : le rapport à l'autre chez trois poètes haïtiennes
Haitian literature , Women poets , Absence , Otherness
Although many in the contemporary academic world would avoid themes such as solitude, love, and, in the context of “francophone” literature, exile, I have decided to give these all the attention they deserve based on the importance they hold in the works themselves, and based on the depth they possess. It is thus from the perspective of the renewed light they bring on these topics that the following three works will be analysed: À vol d’ombre (1966) by Jacqueline Beaugé, Transparence en bleu d’oubli (1979) by Renée Marie-Ange Jolicœur, and La Fidélité non plus… (1986) by Yanick Jean. In order to contextualize these three works, I first provide a brief history of Haitian poetry in which particular attention is given to the contributions of women writers. This overview illustrates how Jean, Jolicœur and Beaugé use very general themes such as love and solitude, but also how they manage to set themselves apart. Indeed, their works are unparalleled in Haitian literature because they constantly play with the conventions of love poetry and redefine the notion of absence. In order to establish how every absence contains traces of presence, my analysis bases itself in part on the theories of Derrida. I also explore how, in each of the collections of poems under consideration (although for different reasons), absence stifles any possibility of contact with the other. In order to understand this problem and underscore its importance, I refer to Hegel’s conception of the relationship to the other. Based on these premises, I conclude by showing how exile is a space that is at once filled with absence and with presence, and how the staging of the act of writing, in all three works, makes poetry and absence inseparable.