ALMOND TREES.pptx - ALMOND TREES DEREK WALCOTT BACKGROUND –...

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ALMONDTREESDEREK WALCOTT
BACKGROUNDTHE ALMOND TREE (PRUNUS DULCIS) IS COMMONLY FOUND IN THE CARRIBEAN, BUT IS NOTNATIVE TO THE AREA.THE TREE IS DECIDUOUS (IE SHEDS ITS LEAVES) & ITS FRUIT, IN BOTANICAL TERMS, IS NOT A NUTT,BUT A DRUPE.IT IS NOT CLEAR HOW THE ALMOND TREE CAME TO BE IN THE CARRIBEAN & THIS IS ALLUDED TO INTHE PHRASE “NO VISIBLE HISTORY”, WHICH IS REPEATED TWICE WITHIN THE FIRST THREE STANZAS.THE POEM MAKES THE TREE SYMBOLIC OF THE COLONIAL HISTORY OF THE CARRIBEAN & AGAINCONSIDERS THE IMPACTS OF THIS.THE POEM IS ALSO INDICATIVEOF WALCOTT’S PERSONAL OMEROS , IN WHICHHE ‘RECREATESTHE PAST FROM THE PRESENT WITH A VIEW TO THE FUTURE’ (TROTT, 2013). THIS IS A FEATURE OFMUCH OF HIS WORK.
FIRST STANZAOPENS WITH SOME STARK IMAGERY THAT DIRECTLY CONTRASTS WITH WHAT MANY READERS WOULD EXPECT FROM WALCOTT.“THERE’S NOTHING HERE/…../COLD SAND/COLD CHURNING OCEAN, THE ATLANTIC,/ NO VISIBLE HISTORY,”. EACH OF THESE LINESPRESENT THE IDEA OF A DESERTED, DESOLATE PLACE SHIVERING ON THE EDGE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.THERE ARE THE OBVIOUS SIMPLE METHODS – THE REPETITION OF ‘COLD’ & THE ALLITERATION OF ‘COLD CHURNING’ WHICHCOMBINE TO EMPHASISE THE CHILLINESS OF THE SITUATION & THE SENSE THAT IT IS AN EXTREMELY INHOSPITABLE PLACE.THE MENTION OF ;THE ATLANTIC’ IS TO CONFER A SENSE OF PLACE TO THE POEM & TO REMIND READERS THAT BOTHCOLONISED & COLONISERS SHARE AN OCEAN.‘NO VISIBLE HISTORY’ IS A PHRASE THAT CAN BE INFERRED TO BE ABOUT THE ALMOND TREES THEMSELVES (AN ALLUSION TOTHE FACT THAT THEIR ORIGIN IS UNKNOWN) OR MORE PLAINLY THAT THE BEACH IS ‘WASHED CLEAN’ BY THE TIDE EVERY DAY.ITCOULD ALSO BE ARGUED IT IS A REFERENCE TO THE CARRIBEAN HAVING ITS HISTORY STRIPPED AWAY.[REPETITION]THE IMAGERY IN THIS STANZA CONTRASTS WITH THAT IN LATER ONES; YOU COULD SAY THEY ARE EFFECTIVELY JUXTAPOSED INTERMS OF THE SAME PLACE BEING DESCRIBED IN SUCH DIFFERING TERMS. THIS JUXTAPOSITION COULD ALSO BE LINKED TO THELITERAL PASSING OF TIME IN THE POEM (…”THIS EARLY” VS “BY NOON” ETC) WHICH POSSIBLY ALLUDES TO THE PASSING OF TIMEWITHIN THE NATION ITSELF & THE CHANGES WROUGHT.

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Term
Winter
Professor
Divine Grace C. Concillado
Tags
Atlantic Ocean, Stanza, Almond, Prunus, Derek Walcott

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