LANDFALL, GRENADA.pptx - LANDFALL GRENADA DEREK WALCOTT...

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LANDFALL, GRENADA DEREK WALCOTT
HISTORY GRENADA IS AN ISLAND WHICH IS PART OF THE WEST INDIES & AS SUCH, HAS A COMPLICATED COLONIAL BACKGROUND, MUCH LIKE WALCOTT’S HOME COUNTRY OF ST LUCIA. ORIGINALLY SETTLED BY THOSE NATIVE TO THE REGION, THE FIRST EUROPEANS TO ATTEMPT COLONISATION OF A SORT WERE THE ENGLISH IN 1609; THESE WOULD BE SETTLERS WERE EVENTUALLY ATTACKED & RUN OFF THE ISLAND BY THE LOCALS. LATER IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, THE FRENCH OVERRAN THE ISLAND & EVENTUALLY COLONISED IT. THEY ARE ‘CREDITED’ WITH DRIVING MOST OF THE CARIBS (LOCALS) OFF THE ISLAND, ESTABLISHING PLANTATIONS & IMPORTING AFRICAN SLAVES TO WORK ON THESE PLANTATIONS. IN THE LATER EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, THE ENGLISH SEIZED CONTROL OF GRENADA & DESPITE FURTHER CONFLICT RETAINED THE ISLAND UNTIL IT GAINED INDEPENDENCE IN 1974. [THE BRITISH ALSO ENCOURAGED THE EMIGRATION OF MANY INDIANS TO GRENADA] IN THE LATE 1970s & EARLY 1980s, THERE WAS A MEASURE OF POLITICAL UNREST IN GRENADA, AS (POLITICALLY) LEFT-LEANING GROUPS TOOK CONTROL OF THE NATION; THIS EVENTUALLY RESULTED IN A MILITARY COUP & GOVERNMENT. UNHAPPY WITH THE SITUATION, IN 1983 THE U.S. INVADED GRENADA & RESTORED DEMOCRACY. GRENADA FOLLOWS A BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM & HAS GENERALLY BEEN POLITICALLY STABLE SINCE THE EARLY 1980s. AS WITH MANY OF THE ISLAND STATES IN THE WEST INDIES, GRENADA IS PRONE TO BEING HIT BY HURRICANES & HAS SUFFERED BADLY FROM DAMAGE & LOSS OF LIFE CAUSED BY THESE.
DEDICATION THE POEM HAS THE DEDICATION ‘FOR ROBERT HEAD, MARINER’. MARINER IS AN OLD-FASHIONED TERM TO DESCRIBE A SAILOR, OR SOMEONE WHOSE WORK OR PASSION INVOLVES BEING ON THE SEA. THE INFERENCE IS THAT THE POEM IS DIRECTED AT ONE OF THE MANY WHO HAD MADE LANDFALL (IE ARRIVED BY SEA-GOING VESSEL) AT GRENADA. ROBERT HEAD, IT WOULD APPEAR, IS NOT A WELL-KNOWN OR EVEN REAL MARINER; THE ONLY FAMOUS HISTORICAL FIGURE OF THIS NAME IS A NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN WHO JOINED THE CONFEDERATE ARMY IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. [TASK: READ THE POEM.DO YOU THINK THAT WALCOTT IS IN ANY WAY REFERRING TO THIS ROBERT HEAD, POSSIBLY A MAN MANIPULATED BY OTHERS &/OR CIRCUMSTANCES?] ROBERT HEAD, AS A GEOGRAPHICAL TERM, IS HOWEVER A NAVIGATION POINT FOR THE ENGLISH CHANNEL & AS SUCH, WOULD HAVE BEEN USED BY MULTIPLE ‘MARINERS’, INCLUDING THOSE ENTERING THE ATLANTIC SEA ON THEIR WAY TO THE WEST INDIES. THUS, IT WOULD SEEM AS THOUGH WALCOTT IS MAKING AN IRONIC DEDICATION TO A LANDMARK USED BY THOSE ON THEIR WAY TO COLONISE GRENADA; A NAVIGATION POINT UTILISED BY MANY WHO WROUGHT HUGE CHANGES TO THE ISLAND & THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS. ‘ROBERT HEAD’ IS A CATCH- ALL PHRASE, ALMOST A MOCKINGLY GENERIC ENGLISH NAME, FOR ALL OF THE MARINERS WHO EVER SET OFF FOR, & SET FOOT IN, GRENADA. THIS INTERPRETATION OF THE DEDICATION FITS WITH SOME OF THE PHRASEOLOGY/IMAGERY USED IN THE POEM & ITS OVERALL TONE.
IN BRIEF ‘LANDFALL,GRENADA’ CONSISTS OF TWO STANZAS – ONE OF SEVEN LINES & ONE OF SEVENTEEN LINES. IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY REAL FORM OF RHYME SCHEME &

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