21 pages 42 minutes read

Derek Walcott

The Schooner Flight

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1979

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Related Poems

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot (1922)

Walcott cites T. S. Eliot as an important literary influence of his, and no poem more typifies Eliot than his masterpiece The Waste Land. While the long, symbolic modern epic bears numerous similarities to Walcott’s poem, its first section, “I. The Burial of the Dead,” is most relevant to “Flight.” Many of Shabine’s allusions to Eliot concern this opening passage.

For the Union Dead” by Robert Lowell (1960)

Another important influence on Walcott’s work, Robert Lowell was also a friend of the Caribbean poet. While this poem is starkly different from Walcott’s own style, its focus on history, the violence of the past, and racial tensions makes it relevant to Walcott’s work and to “The Schooner Flight” in particular.

The Star-Apple Kingdom” by Derek Walcott (1979)

This long poem is the titular work of the book in which Walcott also first published “The Schooner Flight.” Similar to “Flight,” “The Star-Apple Kingdom” deals with Caribbean history, colonialism, language, nature, and violence. It is similarly long and stuffed with both beauty and horrors, and it is similarly characterized by surprising imagery.