By Patricia Ismond
This booklet bargains with the Caribbean part of Walcott’s poetry. The paintings is worried with Caribbean id and self-definition. forsaking lifeless Metaphors uncovers the progressive attempt in a selected distinctive direction, that has up to now remained mostly unobserved.
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Extra info for Abandoning Dead Metaphors: The Caribbean Phase of Derek Walcott's Poetry
The candle/flame image also provides the fire/smoke reference, from which the poem evokes its symbolic intimations of the consuming fire that refines. "), and to conclude with the affirmation of faith in a higher spiritual renewal. Walcott has closely adapted Thomas's techniques of extracting and combining the multiple associations and figurations of the word as image. But in his hands, the technique serves a mode of perception quite different from Thomas's. Metaphoric identification and transference in Thomas come out of his visionary faith in the continuum of the life force through all forms.
In the end, the iconoclastic spirit seeks grace and reconciliation, resolving to desist from mysterious probings in the manner of Prospero (Canto XII). This particular slant has its direct and deep-seated roots in Walcott's religious upbringing. He grew up in a household where his mother, living with the twin concerns of caring for her children and the early loss of their father6 - what he describes as "my father's yearly dying"7 - was devoted to the pieties of her Methodist faith, in an island whose culture was dominated by religion.
9 The choice and ambition of a career in art was therefore a bold and virtually unprecedented step, an asylum and major escape route. He was, of course, acutely aware of the anxieties and insecurities with which this choice was fraught. As earlier noted, these anxieties represent a prominent theme throughout the juvenilia, a number of poems affecting the Baudelairean mask of the doomed poet. It is most pervasive in Epitaph, where the Icarus motif recurs as a twin aspect of the rebellion of the Stephen Dedalus/Walcott persona.