Aimé Césaire : une révolte poétique.


Inez P. Neto

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts


The main goal of this thesis is to present an original poetic analysis of Césaire's famous poem. In order to create a fuller understanding of the text, the thesis explores some background information on the life of Aimé Césaire (1913-2008), especially prior to 1939 and the first publication of this Cahier. It also treats the history of the relations between France and Martinique and the radically new poetic structure incorporating rhythmic blank verse rather than the strict rhymes and forms of traditional French poetry. Césaire's long and complex poem is analyzed through a close reading of six smaller poems in the text. Through overpowering emotions of rage and fiery passion is transmitted an urgent sense of calm. This poem is the author's political, emotional, and literary plea for his people to revolt against past stigmas and to embrace their roots. In his writing he melds the abstract and the visual through beautiful, non-traditional language. He uses repetition, imagery, symbolism, and varied structures to reclaim the black and Martinican identity. In using poetry as a platform, Césaire remodels the definition of a revolution and reclaims an entire history in this catalyst proposing a new political beginning in Martinique. This era repossesses the negative, ugly truths created by the Europeans and sculpts them into newfound positive truths. Cahier d'un retour au pays natal is Césaire's call to arms against injustice, but more importantly, a call to his people to stand and embrace their lineage, their history, and their ability to create a new society.