He has written novels and plays and has taught from time to time in American Universities. He is known for his deeply spiritual and philosophical writings and his ironic reflections on man's destiny in a world of divisions and hierarchies. To talk about the poem, the poem "All the Generations Before me" is a remarkably personal reflection of a man and artist in a specific space and time.
In the poem "All the generations Before me", the following personal reflections are noted.
- A man and artist in a specific period of time.
- Jerusalem and the 20th Century
- The poem speaks of self as the sum of tradition and history - Political, economic and social circumstances.
- The poet begins the poem by saying that all the generation before him donated legacy bit by bit, so that he has become a full fledged Jew. He compares himself to a house of prayer in Jerusalem or charitable Institution that has been erected as a result of charity and donation. The poet wanted to have bonding to all those who have contributed to his existence. My name's, my donor;s name actually means that the poet has changed his original surname Pfeuffer to Amichai meaning "My people live".
In the second stanza of the poem, the poet has grown old and he is approaching the age his father when he died. He is trying to recollect life's experiences patched with many patches. The poet says that each day is a new experience for him and he has the duty of fulfilling the prophecies that some day all the Jews will be back to the promise land. There is a binding in the promises and none of them were lies.
Finally the poet concludes and says that he have passed forty years of age and that forms a hindrance for him to be eligible for job. Sarcastically he says that where he been in Auschwitc he would not be bothered for searching a job, as he would have been sent straight to the concentration camp, gassed and killed. May be this is a recollection of what happened to his father and forefathers during the Nazi regime.|
Far cry from Africa
A Far Cry from Africa by Derek Walcott deals with the theme of split identity and anxiety caused by it in the face of the struggle in which the poet could side with neither party. It is, in short, about the poet’s ambivalent feelings towards the Kenyan terrorists and the counter-terrorist white colonial government, both of which were 'inhuman', during the independence struggle of the country in the 1950s. The persona, probably the poet himself, can take favor of none of them since both bloods circulate along his veins. He has been given English tongue which he loves on the one hand, and on the other, he cannot tolerate the brutal slaughter of Africans with whom he shares blood and some traditions. His conscience forbids him to favor injustice. He is in the state of indecisiveness, troubled, wishing to see peace and harmony in the region. Beginning with dramatic setting, the poem ‘A Far Cry from Africa’ opens a horrible scene of bloodshed in African territory. ‘Bloodstreams’, ‘scattered corpses,’ ‘worm’ show ghastly sight of battle. Native blacks are being exterminated like Jews in holocaust following the killing of a white child in its bed by blacks.| The title of the poem involves an idiom: “a far cry” means an impossible thing. But the poet seems to use the words in other senses also; the title suggests in one sense that the poet is writing about an African subject from a distance. Writing from the island of St. Lucia, he feels that he is at a vast distance- both literally and metaphorically from Africa. “a far cry” may also...