Derek Walcott Poetry and Whale Rider Directed by Niki Caro

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The English language is nobody's special property, it is the property of the imagination, it is the property of the language itself. For poet Derek Walcott the beauty of the English language lies in every single word he weaves together. His poems “a lesson for this

Sunday” and “conqueror” both explore the resurrecting of a culture and combating the preconceptions in it. The detrimental damage on the colonised is often a turning point of change and the creation of a hybrid identity. This new culture can often be a doorway to a

greater and more affective change. The movie”Whale Rider” directed by Niki Caro and originally written by Wiki Ihamera follows the process of old culture entwining with the new and allowing the love for a heritage to pull through.The poem A lesson

for this Sunday is a metaphorical text on the morality of colonisers and those being colonised. The poem focuses on human nature's inability to stay pure and the need to bend nature to its will. “The lesson is the same” is an extended metaphor throughout

the poem to examine human nature and its belief that bigger and stronger will destroy the weaker simply because they can. The persona is also extremely contradictory to his culture, this may also hint at Walcott's own identity crisis, “who break my Sabbath with a thought

of sin, Brother and sister with a common pin”, this is evident sarcasm as the persona speaks of the children killing without remorse on God's holy day. The children have been depicted as humanity and not just the colonisers, however this is countered in the

third stanza when the persona reveals that the children have also been colonised by a greater being, in this instance it is “science”. Often when we think of African preconceptions we see tribes, slavery and a society that is ruthless, violent and primitive however this role has been switched when the black maid is the one whom leads the children away from the butterfly. A lesson for this Sunday explores...
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