Derek Walcott (1930~ ) “A Far Cry From Africa”
Derek Walcott (1930- ) • St. Mary College in St. Lucia, the University in Jamaica • The founder of the Trinidad Theater Workshop • Writing poetry at eighteen • West Indian poet and playwright ~ the Caribbean cultural experience.
Derek Walcott • African and European roots– grandmothers were both black, and both grandfathers were white. • The winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 “Omeros”(1990)
Major Themes • binary oppositions: white and black, colonizer and colonizer, British and West Indian synthesis - a resolution of his hybrid identity • Odyssey: voyaging, travel through cultures and space; “Omeros”--Walcott's intention is to bring forth "the Homeric quality of Caribbean life"
“A Far Cry from Africa” • The conflict between Walcott’s loyalties to Africa and to Britain • The inability to resolve the paradox of his hybrid inheritance.
“A Far Cry From Africa” A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.Corpses are scattered through a paradise. 5 Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries: Waste no compassion on these separate dead' Statistics justify and scholars seize The salients of colonial policy. What is that to the white child hacked in bed? 10 To savages, expendable as Jews? • 1: Refers to the Mau Mau Uprising • 2-6: Bloody battle between European settlers and the native Kikuyu tribe • 5:The authoritative British
“A Far Cry from Africa” Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break In a white dust of ibises whose cries Have wheeled since civilization's dawn From the parched river or beast-teeming plain;15 The violence of beast on beast is read As natural law, but upright man Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain. Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,20 While he calls courage still, that native dread Of the white peace contracted by the dead. • 1-21: Refer to the Kenyan conflict
“A Far Cry from Africa” Again brutish necessity wipes its hands Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again A waste of our compassion, as with Spain.25 The gorilla wrestles with the superman. I who am poisoned with the blood of both, Where shall I turn, divided to the vein? • 25: An empirical comparison of the two cultures • 26-27: A negative view of his hybridism--isolation
“A Far Cry from Africa” I who have cursed The drunken officer of British rule, how choose30 Between this Africa and the English tongue I love? Betray them both, or give back what they give? How can I face such slaughter and be cool? How can I turn from Africa and live? • 30-31: Search for a legitimate identity • 32-33: A sense of guilt arises from divided loyalties.
“The Glory Trumpeter” • His uncle, Eddie, returns to the islands from the States after working very hard.
“The Glory Trumpeter” • Through “Georgia on My Mind” or “Jesus Saves” • With the same fury of indifference • If what propelled such frenzy was despair • Old Eddie was feeling very unhappy; his energy is the same throughout each song.
“The Glory Trumpeter” • The Sunday comics sprawled out on her floor, • Sent from the States, had a particular odour • A smell of money mingled with man’s sweat. • Eddie make money from working in the American, because the island is hardly have job.
“The Glory Trumpeter” • The horn of plenty through a bitter cup, • In lonely exaltation blaming me • For all whom race and exile have defeated • For my own uncle in America, • That living there I never could look up. • Making money in the American was a bitter experience.
Mississippi • The first branch of the Ku Klux Klan was established in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May, 1866. Most of the leaders were former members. Ku Klux Klan
“Midsummer” • Certain things here are quietly American- • that chain-link fence dividing the absent roars • of the beach from the empty ball park • muttering the word umpire instead of empire • Anti-American
“Midsummer” • The gray, metal light where an early pelican • Coasts, with its engine off, over the pink fire • gray- the gray metallic color of an airplane and also the gray light of dawn • Pink fire- a painting of a sunrise, or perhaps a sunset, over the waters of the Caribbean.
“Midsummer” • illegal immigrants from unlucky islands • who envy the smallest polyp its right to work • The right to work is important that behind a life’s work one gives it value in the face of death.
“Midsummer” • This drizzle that falls now is American rain, • Stitching stars in the sand • rain- American • Indicating a new set of conquerors over the island
“Midsummer” • I fear what the migrant envies: • the starry pattern they make- the flag on the post office- • the quality of the dirt, the fealty changing under my foot. • The migrants illegally immigrate, try and find work under American control
Works Cited • “A Far Cry from Africa Summary & Essays - Derek Walcott.” eNotes Lookup Tip. 17 Mar 2006 <http://www.enotes.com/far-cry/>. • The Academy of American Poets. “Derek Walcott” 16 Mar 2006 <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/220>. • Anette Horn. “Jump and other Stories by Nadine Gordimer” 17 Mar 2006 <http://www.cx.unibe.ch/ens/cg/africanfiction/southafrica/gordimer/jump.html>.
Works Cited • Bradley, Heather M. “Conflicting Loyalties in A Far Cry from Africa.” 17 Mar 2006 <http://www.postcolonialweb.org/caribbean/walcott/bradley2.html>. • Derek Walcott. “A Far Cry from Africa Study Guide.” 17 Mar 2006 <http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-farcryfromafrica/themes.html>. • Derek Walcott. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Abrams, M. A., et al. 7th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Norton, 2000. 2580-81. • “Walcott, Derek.” Britannica. 16 Mar.2006<http://www.britannica.com/nobel/micro/629_8.htm>.