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33 pages 1 hour read

Derek Walcott

A Far Cry From Africa

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1962

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Literary Devices

Form and Meter

“A Far Cry from Africa” employs a very loose meter, and contains three stanzas of increasing length. The first stanza is 10 lines, the second is 11 lines, and the third is 12. This steady increase of the length of the stanzas points to a gradual expansion of an unfolding story. The more the speaker delves into this topic, the more he has to say with each given stanza. Although prioritizing iambic pentameter, the poem often slips in and out of other irregular forms of meter, creating a tone of experimentation and resistance to the classic forms. The loose meter and varying stanza lengths situate this poem as a free verse poem, which is a way to rebel against the traditions of English literature. While the speaker is using tools and styles that situate this work as conforming to canonical standards, this subtle play with form and meter allows for a kind of revolution against an oppressive colonial regime through the English language.

Rhyme

Like the form and meter, the rhyme scheme is also loose and relatively unstructured; however the rhymes are still present nonetheless.

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