By Patricia Ismond
This publication bargains with the Caribbean part of Walcott’s poetry. The paintings is anxious with Caribbean identification and self-definition. forsaking useless Metaphors uncovers the progressive attempt in a specific certain path, that has to this point remained principally unobserved.
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Additional resources for Abandoning Dead Metaphors: The Caribbean Phase of Derek Walcott's Poetry
To shift away from Epitaph to Green Night is to come to a clear and concentrated engagement with landscape, extending, as already seen, from a number of the stronger, localized pieces from the juvenilia. What changes appear between the mode of Epitaph and this more regional effort? How far has Walcott moved beyond the basic terms of this apprenticeship in the characteristic achievements of Green Night ? R. James, a founding genius of black and Third World nationalism, and Robert Graves, the then "grand old man" of English letters.
What emerges clearly from this level of engagement and its peculiar intensity is of critical importance: the young Walcott assumes a heritage in that tradition, and aspires to fellowship in and admission to its pieties. This is the first and original level of his "love of the English tongue", and what, above all, gives his apprenticeship its characteristic stamp. It is to prove the most testing. There is nothing unusual in this beginner's dependence on the classical heritage of a tradition. Further, as Walcott himself points out in both "Meanings"10 and "Twilight", the classical inheritance was quite inevitable even for a colonial talent, given the content of colonial education in his day.
29 It is an early achievement of perfect coordination between serious content and execution. 30 The authentic and artistic appeal of the poem combine in this live enactment of the flight. We apprehend the visual reality of the contours and features of the receding island and its coastline, following, with photographic accuracy, the gradual process of its final disappearance: 36 A bandoning Dead Metaphors I watched the island narrowing the fine Writing of foam around the precipices, then The roads as small and casual as twine Thrown on its mountains; I watched till the plane Turned to the final north and turned above The open channel with the grey sea between The fishermen's islets until all that I love Folded in cloud;...