Derek Walcott, a poet and Dramatist, was born in 1930 in Saint Lucia. As he was belong to both African and European roots he identifies himself as a mongrel. This mixed heritage makes him able to identify the post colonial situation more effectively and successfully. He was awarded for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. In the poem A Far Cry from Africa the poet ironically describes how he rejects the British culture and the colonial ideology.
The poem A Far Cry from Africa belongs to post colonial poetry. Mainly the poem discusses the events of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the early 1950s. It was a bloody battle during the 1950 between the European settlers and the native Kikuyu tribes in Kenya. Kikuyu was the largest and most educated tribe in Kenya. As the British people invaded more and more their land they outrageously reacted. The Kenyan tribes rebelled against the British who stole the motherland of them. The rebellion was under a secret organization called Mau Mau. It is estimated a large number of Kikuyu as well as whites were slaughtered during the process.
The poem starts with the painful jarring harsh experience of the rebellion that changed the tranquil peaceful setting of the country. The nation itself compared to an animal, as it indicates it is an animal like a lion. “tawny pelt” And how Kikuyu started the bloody battle. The Kikuyu are compared to flies who are feeding on blood. Next we are informed the aftermath of the rebellion. The poet describes that the country before the conflict was a ‘paradise’ and with an ironical comment he indicates the death, inhumanity and destruction occurred in the land. There is the juxtaposition of the conflict against something divine with the image of corpses scattered through a paradise. The worms that can be seen as the ultimate emblem of stagnation and decay, cries at the worthless death. Sarcastically poet indicates how the humans are reduced to statistics. And at the same time though...
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