Date of Award

3-1-1995

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

D.A.H.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Janice Liddell

Abstract

This study is an excavation and examination of the works of Virgin Islands poets, Cyril Creque, I. P. Gimenez, and Antonio Jarvis, who wrote in the first half of the twentieth century. It looks at the historical and literary context that fostered them and provides a thorough study of one aspect of each man's poetry. In particular Creque's Romanticism is examined, as are Gimenez's vernacular poems, and Jarvis' dual consciousness. All three are examined from the perspective of the tensions created by their being products of the United States Virgin Islands, a territory at once Caribbean and American.

The study set out to refute the assertions of critics that Virgin Islands poets were mere imitators of the European style. What has been revealed is a rich tapestry of original imagery and language, reflective of the Virgin Islands unique history and culture.

A thorough examination of selected poems of each writer was conducted, as was research on each writer. This research was supported by available data and to a significant extent by information gathered from interviews with persons who knew the subjects of the study.

This dissertation is, most likely, the first comprehensive critical work on Virgin Islands poetry and on Creque, Gimenez, and Jarvis. As such it will be useful to scholars interested in the literature of the Virgin Islands and also of the Caribbean and the United States of which the territory is a part. It verifies, not only the presence of a poetic heritage, but testifies to its quality as well as its significance in the two poetic traditions of which it is a part.

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