Oswald Durant, Haitian Poet

Oswald Durant was one of the most important poets to come out of a nation chock full of influential, significant writers. Very little information is readily available about his childhood, save that he was born in Cap-Haïtien on the 17th of September, 1840, but the life he led past this period of no record has led him to be likened to the great wordsmiths of Italy and England, Dante and Shakespeare respectively. Also, like most other of Haiti's important writers, Durant had strong political views that, in him, formed aspirations.


Oswald Durant became published in his early thirties with works like 'La Mort de nos Cocotier's, 'Pantoum Triste' , 'Rires et Pleurs', 1883's 'Choucoune', about the comeliness of Haiti's women, and 'Chant National', a poem about Haiti's history that rose to the pinnacle of popularity for its patriotism.

Also on his belt of accomplishments, Oswald Durant was a teacher and an advisor, founder and writer for many publications. By the time he was 45 years old, he became passionate about change for Haiti and got himself elected to congress, a post he would hold for six consecutive elections. While a member of congress, Durant fought for the equal rights and justice for all during a time when Haiti struggled to keep afloat amidst political mayhem and economic strife.

Oswald Durant died on the 22nd of April, 1906, though not before leaving behind a legacy inclusive of his famous works of literature, available at many libraries across the country, as well as his autobiography.

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