Crémazie, Octave

Crémazie, Octave (Joseph Octave Crémazie) zhôzĕfˈ ôktävˈ krāmäzēˈ [key], 1822–79, French Canadian poet, b. Quebec, considered the father of French Canadian poetry. With his brothers he was proprietor of a Quebec bookshop, the gathering place for a literary group that included such figures as F. X. Garneau and H. R. Casgrain. He and his friends founded a monthly magazine, Les Soirées canadiennes, devoted to the perpetuation of French Canadian folklore. In 1855 his poem “Le Vieux Soldat canadien” appeared, bringing Crémazie instant fame. His subsequent poems, which show the influence of French romanticism, are filled with patriotic feeling. In 1862 the poet suffered business difficulties and fled to France, where he lived in poverty under an assumed name. He wrote a journal of the siege of Paris (1870) and died at Le Havre.

See his Œuvres complètes (1883).

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