By Patricia Ismond
This ebook offers with the Caribbean part of Walcott’s poetry. The paintings is worried with Caribbean identification and self-definition. leaving behind useless Metaphors uncovers the innovative attempt in a specific exact path, that has to date remained principally unobserved.
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Extra info for Abandoning Dead Metaphors: The Caribbean Phase of Derek Walcott's Poetry
Da' was a fete! I mean it had Free rum free whisky and some fellars beating Pan from one of them band in Trinidad And everywhere you turn was people eating And drinking and don't name me but I think They catch his wife with two tests up the beach While he drunk quoting Shelley with "Each Generation has its angst, but we has none" And wouldn't let a comma in edgewise,. (Black writer chap, one of them Oxbridge guys). Most of the emendations are from standard to Creole and dialect usage, covering the areas of grammar, vocabulary, and idiomatic and colloquial expression.
Walcott's technical strategy is a well-chosen and closely focused one; he sets out to echo the liquid sounds of water in the phonics of the poem, and thereby to distil "sea-music". These liquid notes are rung from the sounds that name the distinct features of the setting. There is a dalliance of sound reminiscent of Thomas, as in the skilful play of alliteration, assonance and rhyme in this opening sequence, which "recites" the names/sounds of features, places, and persons in the setting: Anguilla, Adina, Antigua, Canelles, Andreuille, all the 1's Voyelles, of the liquid Antilles, The names tremble like needles (CP, 44) Through a series of sound pictures, the poem evokes the peculiar fragrance of the setting in its characteristic aspect of "anchored frigates" in "ports of calm coral".
The line is itself a metaphor pregnant with these final meanings. Walcott comes to see humanity and creative struggle reaffirmed in Mable Rawlins's gesture, especially in her simple association of art with heaven ("Heaven is to her the place where painters go"). He draws strength from her example to renew his "sacred duty to the Word". The metaphoric modality of these two original poems bears strong resemblances to the style of the Metaphysicals, and is essentially the same in principle. This brings us to what is an outstanding and, finally, most significant feature in Green Night, the prominence of the seventeenth-century period in general, and particularly of the Metaphysicals, in this collection.