17 pages 34 minutes read

Derek Walcott

A Careful Passion

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 2014

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Geographical Context

Walcott’s poetry is deeply rooted in his home country of Saint Lucia, and “A Careful Passion” takes place in this Caribbean context, making use of the specific landscape to set the stage for the speaker’s experience. In an article for The Guardian, Antonia Windsor pointed out the importance of location in Walcott’s writing: “The Nobel laureate is considered the Caribbean’s foremost poet and playwright and has put his island on the literary map in work that explores the post-colonial situation and gives voice to the West Indian people, culture and landscape” (Windsor, Antonia. “My St Lucia: poet Derek Walcott.” The Guardian, 17 Jan. 2010).

Walcott acknowledged the importance of his ancestry in an interview with Simon Stanford in 2005, saying that his cultural inheritance “gives you a bilingual situation, a bicultural situation, very strong African presences there in terms of the rituals, Catholic religion, African rituals and the music is very strongly influenced by African rhythms but of course one studied English literature so all that mélange was very fertile for me” (Stanford, Simon. “Transcript from an interview with Derek Walcott.” Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022, 28 Apr.