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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Beginning Again Sprout, Frances Mary 1996

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BEGINNING AGAIN: DEREK WALCOTT'S ANOTHER LIFE AND WILLIAM WORDSWORTH'S PRELUDE by FRANCES MARY SPROUT (SCHMIDT) B.A., The University of Victoria, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 1996 (&)  Frances Mary Sprout, 1996  In presenting  this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may department or by  his or her representatives.  be granted by the head of  It is understood that copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my permission.  Department of £ ^\i«,L ft  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  fLy«4*  s  111C  my  written  Abstract In "Beginning Again:  Derek Walcott's Another L i f e  W i l l i a m Wordsworth's Prelude." through/against  and  I read Another L i f e  The Prelude, f o c u s i n g on how  Walcott  claims  arid c o n t i n u e s the i n h e r i t a n c e represented by The P r e l u d e w e l l as on ways he r e - w r i t e s t h i s work, m o d i f y i n g s u b v e r t i n g i t t o s u i t h i s p o s t - c o l o n i a l needs.  as  and  Like  Abrams, I use The Prelude as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t e x t ,  M.H. reading  i t as a c u l m i n a t i o n and embodiment of Romantic t h e o r y  and  practice. In my  i n t r o d u c t i o n , I note other comparisons of the  works, o f f e r an overview c r i t i c a l response  two  of the t h e s i s , and d i s c u s s the  which l a b e l s Walcott's work too  E u r o c e n t r i c t o be r e l e v a n t .  I respond  t o t h i s by  offering  p o s t - c o l o n i a l theory which a s s e r t s the l e g i t i m a c y of " a p p r o p r i a t i o n and r e c o n s t i t u t i o n of the language of t h e centre"  ( A s h c r o f t e t a l . 38), and  I d i s c u s s Graham Huggan's  and R e i Terada's work on the use of mimicry i n the Caribbean. Walcott's  simultaneous  love f o r and f r u s t r a t i o n  with  the Western canon which i s p a r t of h i s h e r i t a g e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e i n t h r e e areas, each of which i s the focus of one of my  chapters:  1)nature and  landscape  imagery; 2), the n o t i o n of the d i v i d e d s e l f ; and  3)  the  form, s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e s , and n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s . the f i r s t  chapter, I c o n s i d e r how  In  Walcott w r i t e s back t o a  canon which p r e s e n t s Nature e i t h e r as p a r a d i s a l , as d i v i d e d  Ill  i n t o e i t h e r the b e a u t i f u l or the sublime, or as a p a r t n e r i n a n u r t u r i n g , r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with the poet. second  In the  chapter, I d i s c u s s the,two poets' shared p e r c e p t i o n  of t h e i r d i v i d e d s e l v e s , arguing t h a t w h i l e  Wordsworth's  c o n c l u s i o n p r e s e n t s a confidence i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e g a i n i n g i n t e g r i t y , Walcott i n s i s t s t h a t t h e r e never  has  been such i n t e g r i t y i n the c o l o n i e s , and thus, i t can never be r e c o v e r e d .  The t h i r d chapter c o n s i d e r s W a l c o t t ' s  choice  of the e p i c form, as w e l l as h i s m o d i f i c a t i o n of Wordsworth's n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s and s t r u c t u r i n g  principles.  I conclude by a s s e r t i n g t h a t , l i k e the Romantic p r o j e c t as Abrams summarizes i t ,  Another L i f e i s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y  s u b v e r s i v e and c o n s e r v a t i v e , r e f o r m u l a t i n g the e p i c i n order t o ensure  i t s continued p o s t - c o l o n i a l r e l e v a n c e .  iv  Table of Contents Abstract  i i  T a b l e o f Contents  iv  Acknowledgement  v  INTRODUCTION  1  Chapter One  " A l l That Romantic Taxidermy"  Chapter Two  "What E l s e Was He But A D i v i d e d C h i l d ? "  Chapter Three  "Heroic Argument"  11 36 55  Conclusion  78  Works C i t e d  93  V Acknowledgment  I thank my husband, Paul, my c h i l d r e n , Bronwen, Rhiannon, Megan, and Zachary, and my parents,  Pat and Ken  Schmidt, f o r encouraging and supporting me i n my academic endeavours.  I a l s o thank the i n s t r u c t o r s a t M a l a s p i n a  U n i v e r s i t y - C o l l e g e f o r t h e i r encouragement p a r t i c u l a r l y Katharina  and i n s p i r a t i o n ,  Rout, whose c l a s s e s I h o l d as a model  f o r t h e best k i n d of academic l e a r n i n g , Ron Bonham and L i z a P o t v i n whose c o n t i n u i n g f r i e n d s h i p I a p p r e c i a t e ,  and C r a i g  Tapping, from whose c l a s s came the idea f o r t h i s t h e s i s .  1 Introduction  S i m i l a r i t i e s between W i l l i a m Wordsworth's The and  Prelude  Derek Walcott's Another L i f e abound, and have been noted  s i n c e the l a t t e r s p u b l i c a t i o n . 1  Another L i f e through and  In t h i s t h e s i s , I read  a g a i n s t The  Prelude.  acknowledging the s t r o n g l y c o n s e r v a t i v e  I do  trend  so  i n Walcott's  re-working, but defending i t a g a i n s t those c r i t i c s who r e j e c t the work as "too European."  I a s s e r t the  would  subversive  nature of t h i s r e - w r i t i n g , by demonstrating ways i n which W a l c o t t ' s a p p r o p r i a t i o n of form and c o l o n i a l aim  suggested i n The  s t y l e a c h i e v e s the  Empire W r i t e s Back:  post-  Theory  and  P r a c t i c e i n P o s t - c o l o n i a l L i t e r a t u r e s , t h a t of " s e i z i n g  the  language of the centre and r e - p l a c i n g i t i n a  f u l l y adapted t o the c o l o n i z e d p l a c e " My  primary focus w i l l be on how  continues  the i n h e r i t a n c e represented  w e l l as on how subverting  ( A s h c r o f t e t a l . 38). Walcott c l a i m s by The  i t t o s u i t h i s p o s t - c o l o n i a l needs.  E n g l i s h " and prolonging ["Twilight"  t h a t he once "saw  Unwilling  to  ancestors  language of e x e g e s i s i s  [him]self l e g i t i m a t e l y  the mighty l i n e of Marlowe, of M i l t o n " 31]),  i n h e r i t a n c e was ("Twilight"  as  and  d i s c a r d the language or the canon of h i s E n g l i s h t h a t "the  and  Prelude,  he r e - w r i t e s t h i s work, m o d i f y i n g  (he s t a t e s u n e q u i v o c a l l y  discourse  31).  Walcott admits t h a t h i s "sense of  stronger  because i t came from estrangement"  He does, however, i n s i s t on making  the  2 language r e l e v a n t t o h i s c o n d i t i o n , by "making c r e a t i v e use of h i s s c h i z o p h r e n i a , an e l e c t r i c f u s i o n of the o l d and new  ( " T w i l i g h t " 17).  language t h a t Walcott  His hope i s i n the " f o r g i n g of a  [goes] beyond mimicry" ( " T w i l i g h t " 17).  then w r i t e s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l v e r s e  r e c o g n i z a b l y patterned a f t e r The  Prelude,  Rather, he i s attempting  continued  and  relevance  When  epic  he i s not  i m i t a t i n g t o f l a t t e r or to i n s i n u a t e h i s way  w h i l e modifying  the  i n t o the canon.  t o conserve t h a t which i s v a l u a b l e  s u b v e r t i n g the canon t o assure i t s i n the West Indies and  expand the  p o s s i b i l i t i e s of i t s d i s c o u r s e . Ashton N i c h o l s sums up p r e v i o u s comparisons of Another L i f e and The and  i n " C o l o n i z i n g Consciousness:  I d e n t i t y i n Walcott's  Prelude,"  Culture  Another L i f e and Wordsworth's  n o t i n g t h a t while Kenneth Ramchand f i r s t made the  connection it,  Prelude  between the two,  and Edward Baugh l a t e r extended  n e i t h e r developed the Wordworthian s i d e of the  parallel.  T r a v i s Lane, i n "A D i f f e r e n t 'Growth of a Poet's M i n d : 1  Derek Walcott's Prelude,  Another L i f e , " does look more c l o s e l y a t  The  but does so mainly to demonstrate the poems' "very  g r e a t d i f f e r e n c e s " (65). Walcott's  N i c h o l s ' essay not o n l y examines  debt t o the "Wordsworthian t r a d i t i o n of  verse  autobiography" (173), but a l s o suggests t h a t a comparison of the two  works can deepen understanding  of Wordsworth's poem.  N i c h o l s sees the i n t e r t e x t u a l r e l a t i o n between the poems as o f f e r i n g an understanding  of the c u l t u r a l  two  context  3 of a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l w r i t i n g s i n t h e l y r i c a l mode.  He sees  the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l v o i c e i n both as emerging "out o f an i n t e r a c t i o n between s o c i o c u l t u r a l f o r c e s and an a e s t h e t i c posture  t h a t seeks t o c r i t i q u e a l l c u l t u r a l  identifications"  (174), w i t h t h e r e s u l t i n g d i f f i c u l t y t h a t t h i s v o i c e then seeks an " a r t i s t i c " p o s i t i o n f r e e from s o c i a l l i m i t a t i o n s a t the same time as i t demonstrates t h e i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f such a c u l t u r a l l y neutral position. My own i n t e r e s t i s p r i m a r i l y i n Another L i f e . poem, t h e i n f l u e n c e of The Prelude  i s c l e a r i n t h e way i t s  s u b l i m i n a l presence u n d e r l i n e s an important Walcott's:  In t h i s  theme o f  h i s simultaneous love f o r and f r u s t r a t i o n  the Western canon which i s p a r t of h i s h e r i t a g e .  with  This i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e i n three areas, each of which w i l l be t h e focus of one of the f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s :  1) nature  and  landscape imagery; 2) the n o t i o n of t h e d i v i d e d s e l f ;  and  3) t h e form, s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e s , and n a r r a t i v e  patterns. The  f i r s t chapter w i l l c o n s i d e r Walcott's  Wordsworth's p r e s e n t a t i o n of Nature.  1  r e - w r i t i n g of  Wordsworth  insists  on an o r i g i n a l i n t e g r i t y with Nature, and p o i n t s t o t h e Eden of c h i l d h o o d as proof of t h i s . Walcott, has  i t i s important  t o expose the Nature i n t o which he  been born as a l r e a d y f a l l e n .  "begin here again"  For t h e p o s t - c o l o n i a l  Thus i t i s h i s t a s k t o  (145), t o somehow r e c l a i m t h e garden  through "Adam's task of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r names" (294).  4 Although both poems are a l i k e i n weighting landscape o t h e r imagery  of nature with symbolic and  and  philosophical  meaning, these images always p o i n t Wordsworth towards a g r e a t e r transcendent Nature, a Supreme Being, whereas such s o l a c e seems u n a v a i l a b l e t o Walcott who  sees Nature  as  c o n t i n u a l l y i n s p i r i n g or c h a l l e n g i n g , but a l s o as continually erasing his a r t .  Walcott's r e f e r e n c e s t o  Nature  a l s o a l l u d e t o a c o l o n i a l h i s t o r y and t o the i s s u e s of language  surrounding t h a t h i s t o r y , so t h a t the un-named p r e -  European landscape and the indigenous f l o r a and fauna are juxtaposed w i t h the nature f o r which he has been g i v e n language. The second chapter i s concerned w i t h the treatment i n both poems of the d i v i d e d s e l f .  Although the n a r r a t i v e  s t r u c t u r e of The Prelude works towards i n t e g r a t i o n , Another  while  L i f e acknowledges d i v i s i o n a t almost every p o i n t ,  the concept of a d i v i d e d s e l f i s a c e n t r a l concern of both works.  Wordsworth speaks of two  consciousnesses,  d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between thoughts and f e e l i n g s , the l i f e of the s o u l and t h a t of the mind.  Another d i v i s i o n i s apparent  i n the i n s e r t i o n of censorious comments by h i s mature s e l f of h i s a c t i v i t i e s d u r i n g h i s e a r l y student y e a r s .  Walcott's  own  t h e r e i s , f o r example the  division  between h i s European and h i s A f r i c a n h e r i t a g e ; the  division  d i v i s i o n s are many:  o c c a s i o n e d by h i s love of Western l i t e r a t u r e and h i s awareness of i t s p a r t i n denying the l o c a l o r a l c u l t u r e ;  and  5 the d i v i s i o n caused by h i s love f o r Anna and h i s simultaneous detachment  from her i n order t o observe and  d e s c r i b e her i n the name of a r t . F i n a l l y , the t h i r d chapter w i l l look a t t h e form, s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e s , and n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s o f t h e two poems.  Both, o f course, share (and modify) t h e e p i c form  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the great works of Homer, V e r g i l , Spenser, and M i l t o n .  Dante,  By u s i n g t h i s form t o d e s c r i b e t h e  growth of a poet's mind, Wordsworth makes a q u i n t e s s e n t i a l l y Romantic  statement, c l a i m i n g f o r the s u b j e c t i v e and t h e  i n d i v i d u a l a s t a t u r e p r e v i o u s l y r e s e r v e d f o r heroes and gods. Walcott's seemingly c o n s e r v a t i v e c h o i c e o f a c a n o n i c a l form i s e q u a l l y s u b v e r s i v e .  Although f r u s t r a t e d by t h e  c o l o n i z e r s who w i l l not/cannot see the l o c a l landscape i n terms of p o e t r y , n e i t h e r w i l l he r e j e c t h i s European heritage.  C l e a r l y capable of u s i n g the C r e o l e " n a t i o n  language" Edward Brathwaite promotes as t h e n a t i o n a l language of the E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g West I n d i e s ,  2  Walcott  i n s i s t s on a l s o drawing from h i s European background.  To  those who "jump[] on" him from "both s i d e s f o r p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s or p l a y i n g white," c a l l i n g him " t r a i t o r " or " a s s i m i l a t o r , " the s e l f - s t y l e d "mulatto of s t y l e " responds: " P a s t o r a l i s t s of the A f r i c a n r e v i v a l should know t h a t what i s needed  i s not new names f o r o l d t h i n g s , or o l d names f o r  o l d t h i n g s , but the f a i t h of u s i n g the o l d names anew"  6 ( " T w i l i g h t " 9-10). Walcott thus r i s k s c r i t i c a l comments such as those of A l i c e Walker, who  c l a i m s of Another L i f e t h a t "very  little  t h a t i s r e c o g n i z a b l y Black West Indian s u r v i v e s , " and  who  f i n d s t h a t "there i s too much f o r e i g n t a l k and f a r too much British style"  (576).  P a t r i c i a Ismond, i n summing up  "Walcott versus Brathwaite" debate  the  i n her a r t i c l e of the  same name, says t h a t " i n b r i n g i n g these two poets t o g e t h e r . . . i t would be d i s h o n e s t not t o r e c o g n i s e a t once t h a t i t i s Walcott above a l l t h a t needs t o be v i n d i c a t e d "  (55).  As  she says, the "stock a t t i t u d e s " are t h a t Walcott "seems t o be a type of poet's poet, the k i n d of l u x u r y we a f f o r d , and which remains  E u r o c e n t r i c " (54).  can i l l  But w h i l e some  see Walcott's work as e i t h e r s l a v i s h l y i m i t a t i v e or politically  q u i e t i s t i n i t s focus on s t y l e ,  Ismond sees  W a l c o t t ' s "'acceptance' of the Western Word," rather revolutionary claim.  T h i s i s the c l a i m t o an  i n h e r i t a n c e e v i d e n t i n the way it  Walcott  " f e e l s f r e e t o mould  [the Western Word], bend i t t o h i s own  expose i t s shortcomings, competently  now  as making a  purposes,  now  draw upon i t s s t r e n g t h s — a s  as the o r i g i n a l p o s s e s s o r s " (69).  Ismond's assessment of Walcott's s t r a t e g y shows i t s s i m i l a r i t y t o those " i n t e l l e c t u a l s from the c o l o n i a l or p e r i p h e r a l r e g i o n s " of whom Edward S a i d speaks, who  wrote i n an  themselves  ' i m p e r i a l ' language,  who  those  felt  o r g a n i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o the mass  to  7 r e s i s t a n c e t o empire, and who s e t themselves t h e r e v i s i o n i s t , c r i t i c a l task of d e a l i n g with the metropolitan techniques,  frontally  culture, using the  d i s c o u r s e s , and weapons of s c h o l a r s h i p  and c r i t i c i s m once r e s e r v e d e x c l u s i v e l y f o r t h e European. (243) When Ismond s t a t e s t h a t the "confidence [Walcott's]  and t e n a c i t y o f  approach c h a l l e n g e s and d e f i e s any such  notions  of i n f e r i o r i t y , " she p a r a l l e l s Said's comments t h a t t h e work of those  i n t e l l e c t u a l s w r i t i n g i n an ' i m p e r i a l * language i s  "only a p p a r e n t l y dependent (and by no means p a r a s i t i c ) on mainstream Western d i s c o u r s e s ; the r e s u l t of i t s o r i g i n a l i t y and c r e a t i v i t y has been the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t e r r a i n o f the d i s c i p l i n e s "  o f t h e very  (243).  Both Ismond and Said suggest t h a t a w r i t e r from t h e p e r i p h e r y can use the language of the m e t r o p o l i t a n power without  being e i t h e r dependent, p a r a s i t i c , or q u i e t i s t .  f a c t , as B i l l A s h c r o f t , Gareth G r i f f i t h s , say  and Helen  In  Tiffin  i n The Empire Writes Back, the " c r u c i a l f u n c t i o n o f  language as a medium of power demands t h a t p o s t - c o l o n i a l w r i t i n g d e f i n e i t s e l f by s e i z i n g the language o f t h e c e n t r e and r e - p l a c i n g i t i n a d i s c o u r s e f u l l y adapted t o t h e colonized place" authors and  (38). One of the two processes  these  d e s c r i b e f o r a c h i e v i n g t h i s i s "the a p p r o p r i a t i o n  r e c o n s t i t u t i o n of the language of the c e n t r e , t h e  process  o f c a p t u r i n g and remoulding the language t o new  8 usages [which] marks a s e p a r a t i o n privilege"  (38).  from the s i t e of  colonial  They c i t e as an example of t h i s W a l c o t t ' s  a p p r o p r i a t i o n as w e l l as h i s "Adamic c e l e b r a t i o n of language"  (51).  Besides a p p r o p r i a t i n g the  ' i m p e r i a l ' language,  Rei  Terada p o i n t s out t h a t Walcott i s a l s o "address[ing] o p p o s i t i o n between mimicry and  o r i g i n a l i t y " (3).  the  Terada  makes the extremely p e r t i n e n t comment t h a t i n at  l e a s t t h r e e ways . . . Walcott's work throws  i n t o r e l i e f the simultaneous inadequacy resilience  of the idea of  and  'originality':  by  p r o v o k i n g c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of i t ; by  the  s t r e n g t h with which i t presses a g a i n s t i t s tendency n e v e r t h e l e s s  i t ; and  by  t o f a l l back upon i t .  (44) T h i s p a r a l l e l s Walcott's i n s i s t e n c e on  countering  Wordsworth's Edenic imagery with h i s own nature w h i l e simultaneously  vision  of a f a l l e n  embracing the Edenic myth i n  order t o c l a i m the empowering language of Adam. Graham Huggan a l s o c o n s i d e r s mimicry i n W a l c o t t ' s work i n h i s essay "A T a l e of Two  Parrots:  Uses of C o l o n i a l Mimicry."  He  Bhabha on mimicry, and  Walcott, Rhys, and  sums up Fanon, N a i p a u l ,  suggests t h a t  Caribbean w r i t e r s have been eager t o t u r n mimicry t o t h e i r own  colonial  advantage, c a p i t a l i z i n g  the mischief-making a l l i a n c e between parody  on and  the and  9 'parrotry*  i n order t o p r o v i d e a d e l i b e r a t e l y  embarrassing  reminder  difference.  (646)  of t h e i r own  The w i l f u l "mischief-making"  and  cultural  "embarrassing"  here  also  c a l l t o mind Harold Bloom's Oedipal s t r u g g l e between the "ephebe" and h i s " p r e c u r s o r " .  3  Laurence  Breiner provides a  v e r y u s e f u l summary of Bloom's theory and  i t s relevance to  Caribbean w r i t i n g , comparing i t t o both Edward and Derek Walcott's own  Brathwaite's  t h e o r i e s of i n f l u e n c e , i n h i s essay  " T r a d i t i o n , S o c i e t y , The F i g u r e of the  Poet."  Throughout these t h r e e chapters, I r e f e r o f t e n t o Abrams, from whom I adopt the p r a c t i c e of u s i n g The  M.H.  Prelude  as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t e x t , as a c u l m i n a t i o n and embodiment of Romantic t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e .  T h i s i s perhaps a t the c o s t  of i g n o r i n g much of the more contemporary t h e o r y r e g a r d i n g the Romantic p e r i o d , but I b e l i e v e t h i s i s j u s t i f i e d by project:  my  Abrams' r e a d i n g of The Prelude i s r o u g h l y  contemporaneous w i t h the p u b l i c a t i o n of Another L i f e . have chosen t o work with the 1805  v e r s i o n of The  I  Prelude,  not o n l y f o r the r a t h e r a r b i t r a r y reason t h a t i t i s the v e r s i o n I know best, but a l s o because of  Jonathan  Wordsworth's c l a i m t h a t i t i s the v e r s i o n p r e f e r r e d by B r i t i s h readers  (Walcott's St. L u c i a n e d u c a t i o n b e i n g  modeled o b v i o u s l y on the  British).  4  The e d i t i o n of Another L i f e t o which I r e f e r i s t h a t found i n C o l l e c t e d Poems:  1948-1984.  throughout  This edition  10 does use a d i f f e r e n t p a g i n a t i o n (1973) e d i t i o n ; a s w e l l , inscription, Glissant's  from t h a t  i t includes  of the f i r s t  neither  the opening  " f o r Margaret," nor the quotation  Le L e z a r d e  from  Edouard  (The R i p e n i n g ) , w h i c h a p p e a r on p a g e s  b e f o r e t h e poem i n b o t h t h e 1973 and t h e 1982 e d i t i o n s . These a r e t h e only laid  out as i t i s i n the f i r s t  occupying, pages. will  respectively,  however, and t h e poem i s edition with the four  o f f e r page numbers o n l y ,  numbers.  books  44, 32, 34, and 35  A l l q u o t a t i o n s f r o m t h e poems t h r o u g h o u t t h i s  Prelude follow line  differences,  w h i l e my r e f e r e n c e s  the convention of including  thesis  t o The  b o t h book and  11  Chapter One  —  " A l l That Romantic Taxidermy"  Before l o o k i n g a t how  Walcott acknowledges,  i n t e r r o g a t e s , and f i n a l l y re-shapes the p o e t i c s of nature he i n h e r i t s from/through  Wordsworth's The Prelude, i t w i l l  u s e f u l t o d e l i n e a t e those p o e t i c s i n terms of how  be  they  r e p r e s e n t the Western canon g e n e r a l l y , the Romantic movement e s p e c i a l l y and, most s p e c i f i c a l l y , Wordsworth h i m s e l f . Three  important aspects of the t r a d i t i o n i n t o which Walcott  i s w r i t i n g are: and redemption;  the B i b l i c a l n a r r a t i v e of the garden,  fall,  the o r g a n i z i n g c a t e g o r i e s of the b e a u t i f u l  and the sublime; and the paradigm of the a r t i s t  in a  r e c i p r o c a l and n u r t u r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h nature. Walcott's task i s to include p o s t - c o l o n i a l r e a l i t i e s i n t h i s Western l i t e r a r y d i s c o u r s e of nature, and t o do so, he must work w i t h i n , y e t somehow subvert, a l o n g - e s t a b l i s h e d iconography  of nature which has excluded or m a r g i n a l i z e d the  non-European. These t h r e e aspects c e n t r a l t o and  continuous  throughout Western t r a d i t i o n a l l share an important  element:  a commitment t o a nature which, a t l e a s t b e f o r e man's f a l l , was  b e a u t i f u l , n u r t u r i n g , and p a r a d i s a l .  T h i s i s the  p a r a d i s e , the Garden of Eden, of the B i b l i c a l  narrative.  (Such a p a r a d i s e i s a l s o found i n C l a s s i c a l w r i t i n g i n such v e r s i o n s as the Greek E l y s i a n f i e l d s , and the L a t i n amoenus.)  locus  In E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e , the most important v e r s i o n  12 of t h i s n a r r a t i v e i s , of course, M i l t o n ' s P a r a d i s e L o s t , and Wordsworth  a t s e v e r a l p o i n t s i n The Prelude makes s p e c i f i c  a l l u s i o n t o t h i s work, r e i n f o r c i n g w i t h i n the longer t r a d i t i o n .  the p l a c e of h i s own work  5  Besides r e p r e s e n t i n g the longer Western t r a d i t i o n of w r i t i n g about nature i n terms of the B i b l i c a l Garden and fall,  The Prelude a l s o r e p r e s e n t s a Romantic impulse.  M.H.  Abrams, i n N a t u r a l Supernaturalism, c l a i m s as t y p i c a l l y Romantic i n i t the move from an e a r l y i n t e g r i t y w i t h i n nature t o a f a l l thought,  i n t o the d i v i s i v e n e s s of a n a l y t i c a l  w i t h a redemptive r e t u r n t o oneness w i t h n a t u r e .  A l s o t y p i c a l l y Romantic i s t h a t t h i s f i n a l i n t e g r i t y i s on a h i g h e r l e v e l which c l e a r l y acknowledges a r e c i p r o c i t y between mind/imagination offers  and nature.  Thus, what The  Prelude  i s a r e t e l l i n g i n s e c u l a r terms of the B i b l i c a l  Paradise/Fall/Redemption naturalizing  n a r r a t i v e , or as Abrams says, a  of the s u p e r n a t u r a l .  Wordsworth's  own use of the t r o p e of a p r e - f a l l  P a r a d i s e makes such a p e r i o d i n h i s t o r y  analogous w i t h  c h i l d h o o d i n g e n e r a l , and i n terms of autobiography,  with  h i s own c h i l d h o o d and c h i l d h o o d memories i n p a r t i c u l a r . T h i s i s e x e m p l i f i e d , i n the f o l l o w i n g passage, by the image of Wordsworth  as a c h i l d bathing i n the r i v e r Derwent  and  running j o y o u s l y and f r e e l y through the c o r r e s p o n d i n g landscape. innocence  P a r t i c u l a r l y suggestive of Eden i s the naked and the emphasis on i n t e g r i t y w i t h Nature  13 r e p r e s e n t e d by the r e p e t i t i o n of the word "one": Oh! many a time have I, a f i v e y e a r s ' C h i l d , A naked Boy,  i n one d e l i g h t f u l  Rill,  A l i t t l e M i l l - r a c e severed from h i s stream, Made one long b a t h i n g of a summer's day, Basked  i n the sun, and plunged, and basked a g a i n  A l t e r n a t e a l l a summer's day, or coursed Over the sandy f i e l d s , Of y e l l o w g r u n s e l .  l e a p i n g through groves  . . ( I , 291-398)  Yet even as Wordsworth i s r e c r e a t i n g , i n h i s c h i l d h o o d , a B i b l i c a l Eden, he i s modifying t h a t Eden t o f o c u s on h i m s e l f alone i n oneness with nature, thus e x c l u d i n g Eve. As w e l l , the l i n e s immediately f o l l o w i n g these t u r n r a t h e r q u i c k l y t o harsher, darker aspects of N a t u r e — t h e c r a g , hill,  and woods—and then t o the sublime: " d i s t a n t Skiddaw's  l o f t y h e i g h t . . . bronzed with a deep r a d i a n c e " ( I , 299300).  The mountain  r e v e a l s him as "alone beneath the sky"  and h i s nakedness i s now Savage" who  "sport[s]  H  judged t o be t h a t of "a naked  " i n wantonness . . .  i n the thunder  shower" ( I , 303-4). S i m i l a r l y , the opening which s i t u a t e s the poet alone i n the  landscape p l a c e s him i n a p a r a d i s a l s e t t i n g .  The g e n t l e  breeze o f f e r s b l e s s i n g , the f i e l d s are green, and i f t h e r e are of  c l o u d s , they are g e n t l y wandering  ones.  The language i s  groves and sweet streams, and i n c o n t r a s t w i t h the c i t y  from which the poet has j u s t r e t u r n e d , t h i s i s c l e a r l y  14 Edenic.  At the same time, however, although the poet has i n  f r o n t of him  " [ l ] o n g months of peace . . .  undisturbed d e l i g h t "  (1,2 6-29)  of ease  and  he must make c h o i c e s about  the journey he i s about t o undertake: whither s h a l l I t u r n / By road or pathway or through open f i e l d ,  / Or s h a l l a t w i g  or any f l o a t i n g t h i n g / Upon the r i v e r , p o i n t me course?  ( I , 29-32).  out  my  As h i s a l l u s i o n t o P a r a d i s e L o s t makes  c l e a r , h i s stance here i s s i m i l a r t o Adam's o u t s i d e of the garden: position  "The  e a r t h i s a l l before me."  6  His  liminal  (between p a r a d i s e and the r e s t of the world) a l s o  suggests the hero of the c l a s s i c a l e p i c , l e a v i n g home t o venture i n t o / a g a i n s t the Other which i s the unknown world. What t h i s f i g u r e a l s o s u b t l y c o n f l a t e s are the b e a u t i f u l and the sublime, two responses t o the  Other/nature  around which metaphysical t h i n k i n g has been o r g a n i z e d throughout Western i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y .  Herbert  Lindenberger, r e f e r r i n g t o the poet's statement  that  "grew up / F o s t e r e d a l i k e by beauty and by f e a r "  he  ( I , 305-6),  notes t h a t "Wordsworth q u i t e n a t u r a l l y assumed a dichotomy between conceptions of 'beauty' and  'fear'.  . . behind h i s  use of these words t h e r e stands a whole c e n t u r y of d i s c u s s i o n on the nature of the b e a u t i f u l and the  sublime"  (23). Lindenberger makes the u s e f u l c o n n e c t i o n between the b e a u t i f u l / s u b l i m e dichotomy and Wordsworth's " t r a i n i n g i n t h a t a n c i e n t r h e t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n which d i s t i n g u i s h e s between pathos  and ethos  as the opposing types of emotion  15 which p o e t r y seeks t o d e p i c t "  (25).  p r o g r e s s from pathos  i s Wordsworth's image o f t h e  t o ethos  h i s t o r y of h i s own l i f e ,  He argues t h a t  "[t]he  and as such i t p r o v i d e s a p a t t e r n  of o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r The Prelude" (36). As M.H. Abrams p o i n t s out, along w i t h these terms Wordsworth " i n h e r i t e d a long t r a d i t i o n of f i n d i n g moral and t h e o l o g i c a l meanings i n the a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s o f t h e landscape, as w e l l as of conducting an i n q u i r y i n t o  cosmic  goodness and j u s t i c e by r e f e r e n c e t o t h e c o n t r a r y a t t r i b u t e s of t h e n a t u r a l world"  (102).  This t r a d i t i o n  inevitably  excluded those aspects of nature which f i t n e i t h e r category, and many d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t and New H i s t o r i c i s t c r i t i q u e s o f The Prelude and other Romantic w r i t i n g have focused on such exclusions.  Walcott, of course, takes another  approach,  r e w r i t i n g The Prelude t o i n c l u d e those a s p e c t s of nature which c h a l l e n g e the l i m i t a t i o n s of the d i s c o u r s e . Besides drawing  a t t e n t i o n t o the two p o t e n t i a l  c a t e g o r i e s of t h e b e a u t i f u l and the sublime, t h e opening f i g u r e of t h e poet a g a i n s t the landscape most o b v i o u s l y foregrounds t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between poet and n a t u r e . Wordsworth uses t h e wind as a symbol of t h e p o e t s 1  i n s p i r a t i o n i n Nature, as do so many of t h e Romantics, C o l e r i d g e i n h i s " A e o l i a n Harp" f o r example, o r S h e l l e y i n h i s "Ode t o t h e West Wind." essay "The Correspondent  As M.H. Abrams notes i n h i s  Breeze:  A Romantic Metaphor,"  P r e l u d e i s marked from t h e beginning by i t s use o f t h e  The  16 r e c u r r e n t wind as a k i n d of unobtrusive  leitmotif,  " r e p r e s e n t i n g the c h i e f theme of c o n t i n u i t y and  interchange  between outer motions and the i n t e r i o r l i f e and powers" (28) . Herbert Lindenberger  a l s o comments on Wordsworth's use  of wind imagery, as w e l l as of water imagery, p o i n t i n g out that the dominating  images of The Prelude are wind  and  water, images which by t h e i r very n a t u r e — t h e i r flowing, transforming q u a l i t y , t h e i r a b i l i t y  to  i n t e r a c t with other n a t u r a l elements . . . a l l o w the poet f r e e range between the observable  world  and the h i g h e r t r a n s c e n d e n t a l r e a l i t y which he wishes t o make v i s i b l e t o us.  Their chief  f u n c t i o n , one might say, i s t o a c t as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s between the two worlds.  (71)  Wordsworth's c h o i c e of r e p r e s e n t i n g nature through some of i t s most p o t e n t i a l l y t r a n s f o r m i n g images r e f l e c t s a t r a d i t i o n of confidence i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e g a i n i n g a u n i t y between mind and nature. b e g i n i n the everyday understand, they w i l l  As w e l l , although the images  where the mind attempts  and even r e - c r e a t e them i n p o e t r y ,  l e a d , as i n the Mt.  t o experience, ultimately  Snowdon v i s i o n w i t h which the  poem ends, t o the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i d e a l . Lindenberger history,"  argues, a g a i n s t " c o n v e n t i o n a l l i t e r a r y  t h a t "Wordsworth's attempt  to locate visionary  17  power i n n a t u r a l scenery seems l e s s the b e g i n n i n g of a tradition  . . . than the c u l m i n a t i o n of a way  of t h i n k i n g  f o r which the groundwork has been l a i d long b e f o r e . "  For  him,  able  the d i f f e r e n c e i s i n the language Wordsworth was  t o d e v i s e " f o r the i n t e r a c t i o n of the mind w i t h e x t e r n a l nature"  (94). Lindenberger goes on t o say t h a t Wordsworth  s t r u c t u r e d h i s work around observed images not o n l y of h i s l o v e of nature, but a l s o because he had  inherited.  because  of the epistemology  He c i t e s Tuveson's demonstration of  u n i t y of outer and i n n e r f o l l o w s from Locke's  how  epistemology,  but f i n d s Wordsworth's poetry unique not f o r i t s combination of "sense-impressions of nature w i t h more complex  ideas,"  but f o r "the p e c u l i a r method which he developed t o draw the i n t e l l e c t u a l from the v i s u a l "  (96).  What i s s p e c i f i c a l l y  Wordsworthian, a c c o r d i n g t o Lindenberger, i s t h a t  he  r e p r e s e n t s the e x t e r n a l world only i n order t o get beyond it;  i f he l e t s h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g s e l f i n t r u d e ,  the  i n t r u s i o n seems t o f o l l o w so n a t u r a l l y from the c o n c r e t e l y p e r c e i v e d premise with which he s t a r t e d t h a t the r e a d e r i s s c a r c e l y aware he has c r o s s e d the border which commonly s e p a r a t e s the simple idea from the complex, the e m p i r i c a l realm from the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l . " (96) The Western l i t e r a r y d i s c o u r s e of Nature of which  The  P r e l u d e i s p a r t , then, accepts as g i v e n a Nature which r e p r e s e n t s the P a r a d i s e which i s both p r e - and and which i s where h i s t o r y began.  ahistoric,  Although Wordsworth  18 i n s e r t s i n t o t h i s d i s c o u r s e some m o d i f i c a t i o n s or r e s e r v a t i o n s , h i s opening i s c l e a r l y s i t u a t e d i n a which, w i t h i t s g e n t l e breezes, green f i e l d s , stream,  i s s u g g e s t i v e of Eden.  and  Nature sweet  Walcott's opening,  by  c o n t r a s t , i s s e t i n a d i s t i n c t l y un-Eden-like t w i l i g h t ocean scene.  The sun i s harsh even as i t s e t s , g l a r i n g  "mesmeriz[ing]  and  l i k e f i r e without wind" (a combination  i s r e m i n i s c e n t of h e l l r a t h e r than Eden);  which  i t s decline i s  a s s o c i a t e d both with the end of the B r i t i s h empire and w i t h drunkenness.  The sea i s a book whose pages can be read, but  the master who  c o u l d g i v e them meaning i s absent.  That  this  i s a p o s t - l a p s a r i a n landscape i s c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d i n the comment t h a t : "The dream / of reason had produced i t s monster: / a p r o d i g y of the wrong age and c o l o u r " (145). S i m i l a r l y , Wordsworth's a s s e r t i o n t h a t each  individual  l i f e begins i n the P a r a d i s e of c h i l d h o o d i s q u e s t i o n e d by Walcott who  t u r n s , as Wordsworth does,  the landscape about him, memories. self  from contemplation of  t o a m e d i t a t i o n on h i s e a r l y  L i k e Wordsworth, Walcott remembers h i s c h i l d h o o d  i n a s s o c i a t i o n with Nature, but w h i l e Wordsworth  a s s i g n s a u n i t y between s e l f and Nature  in this period, for  Walcott, t h i s supposedly P a r a d i s a l time was  a l r e a d y marred  by a d i v i s i o n which i s s i g n i f i e d , a t t h i s e a r l i e s t p o i n t , by Nature.  Walcott a s s o c i a t e s h i s c h i l d h o o d s e l f w i t h the  Moon, a symbol of inconstancy, and he r e c a l l s h i s e a r l i e s t s i n , t h a t of b e t r a y i n g the Caribbean r e a l i t y by c o n s i d e r i n g  19 its  "palms / i g n o b l e r than imagined  elms" and "the  b r e a d f r u i t ' s s p l a y e d l e a f c o a r s e r than t h e oak's" (148), and p r a y i n g " n i g h t l y f o r h i s f l e s h t o change"  (149).  A comparison of Another L i f e and The P r e l u d e i n terms of  t h e i r d e p i c t i o n of c h i l d h o o d f o r c e s a q u e s t i o n i n g of  Wordsworth's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . in  Walcott, by copying Wordsworth  i n c l u d i n g a memory of a c h i l d ' s death i n h i s c h i l d h o o d  memoirs, s u b t l y reminds us t h a t Wordsworth's c h i l d h o o d P a r a d i s e i s c o n s t r u c t e d through h i s n a r r a t i v e c h o i c e s . W a l c o t t ' s f u n e r a l scene f o r the c h i l d Pinky  (AL, Chapter I,  S e c t i o n I I I ) cannot help but r e c a l l Wordsworth's "Boy o f Winander" who "was taken from h i s Mates, and d i e d / In c h i l d h o o d , e r e he was f u l l t e n years o l d " (V, 414-15). Similarly,  i n Book XI, Wordsworth admits  t h a t when he "was  then not s i x years o l d , " so young, i n f a c t , t h a t h i s hand could "scarcely  . . . hold a b r i d l e "  (XI, 280-1), he came  a c r o s s a Gibbet on which a Murderer had been hanged y e a r s earlier.  (This memory i s one of h i s "spots i n time;" h i s  a d u l t s e l f draws s o l a c e from the memory's sure evidence t h a t he has f a c e d and s u r v i v e d a d v e r s i t y i n h i s e a r l y l i f e , and thus, w i l l be a b l e t o do so again.)  The s t r i k i n g  d i f f e r e n c e between the two poets' c h i l d h o o d memories o f death i s , of course, i n the n a r r a t i v e  sequencing:  Wordsworth chooses t o e s t a b l i s h c h i l d h o o d as Edenic and o n l y much l a t e r t o a l l o w the reader t o glimpse  i t s other  r e a l i t i e s ; Walcott, on the other hand, o f f e r s a c h i l d ' s  20 memory of a playmate's death as h i s f i r s t p r e s e n t a t i o n o f c h i l d h o o d , and does t h i s w i t h i n the poem's opening  pages.  Another L i f e , then, i n s i s t s on c h i l d h o o d as a l r e a d y enmeshed w i t h and aware of death, and speaks back t o a Wordsworthian d i s c o u r s e which attempts  t o enshrine c h i l d h o o d as P a r a d i s e .  D i s c o u r s e s of P a r a d i s e have, of course, implications i n colonial settings.  particular  Many of these  settings  c o n t i n u e t o be e x p l o i t e d f o r commercial purposes,  so t h a t  the contemporary t r a v e l i n d u s t r y d i s c o u r s e i s v e r y much continuous w i t h t h a t of Western l i t e r a t u r e .  7  Walcott  r e s i s t s t h i s d e p i c t i o n of h i s i s l a n d as a t r o p i c a l P a r a d i s e , c o u n t e r i n g with such r e a l i t i e s as "a s t i n g i n g haze / o f t h o r n t r e e s bent l i k e green flames by the Trades  . . . while  the a s p h a l t sweats i t s mirages and the beaks / o f f l e d g l i n g g i n g e r l i l i e s gasped f o r r a i n " H e l l than P a r a d i s e . p a s t o r a l storms:  I t i s an i s l a n d of d e c i d e d l y non-  "Lightning frequently / crackled across  the watersheds, thunder parchment" (253).  (194), more s u g g e s t i v e o f  / r a t t l e d the sky's t i g h t e n e d  Instead of being o n l y a p l a c e o f p e r f e c t  beginnings, t h i s i s l a n d i s one of many which c o n s t r i c t s w i t h i t s own hopelessness:  "He haunted beaches, / t h e h o r i z o n  t i g h t e n e d round h i s t h r o a t . . . The i s l a n d s were a s t r i n g of barges towed nowhere, / every view / assembling say f a r e w e l l "  i t s e l f to  (253).  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , a t e x a c t l y the moment i n which Walcott d e n i e s t h a t the Caribbean  i s Edenic, he embraces t h e myth by  21 s t e p p i n g i n t o the r o l e of Adam, and naming i t s r e a l i t i e s . For Walcott, the o n l y redemption p o s s i b l e f o r t h i s a l r e a d y c o r r u p t landscape i n t o which Caribbean man through the Adamic a c t of naming.  i s born comes  T h i s i s most c l e a r l y  i n d i c a t e d i n h i s c l a i m t h a t he and G r e g o r i a s , when l i t were "the l i g h t of the world," C h r i s t - f i g u r e s who  "were b l e s t  w i t h a v i r g i n a l , unpainted world / with Adam's t a s k of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r names" (294).  (This i s , though,  a d m i t t e d l y a r e t r o s p e c t i v e c l a i m made i n the p a s t t e n s e ; i t i s not a t a l l c l e a r t h a t he r e t a i n s any such c o n f i d e n c e d u r i n g h i s m i d - l i f e w r i t i n g of t h i s poem.)  Yet t h i s  sense  of c o n s e c r a t i o n t o a redemptive task must encompass the r e v e l a t i o n of t h i s yet-unpainted world as d i s t i n c t l y Edenic: paint,  "we  non-  swore . . . t h a t we would . . . put down, i n  i n words . . . a l l of i t s sunken, l e a f - c h o k e d  r a v i n e s , / every n e g l e c t e d , s e l f - p i t y i n g i n l e t / m u t t e r i n g in brackish dialect,  / the ropes of mangroves / from which  o l d s o l d i e r crabs s l i p p e d / s u r r e n d e r i n g t o s l u s h , / each ochre t r a c k seeking some h i l l t o p and / l o s i n g i t s e l f u n f i n i s h e d phrase"  i n an  (194).  Not o n l y i s the landscape Walcott names not as p r i s t i n e as Adam's, but the language which he must use i s a l s o compromised by p r e v i o u s use.  When Walcott says t h a t "no  had y e t w r i t t e n of t h i s landscape / t h a t i t was (195),  one  possible"  he suggests an a l r e a d y - e x i s t i n g d i s c o u r s e which i s  inadequate or e x c l u s i v e .  When he speaks of the v a r i e t i e s  22 of  wood which respond t o t h e i r sounds but are not y e t named,  he l i k e n s them t o "bastard c h i l d r e n , h i d i n g i n t h e i r names"; of  these c h i l d r e n , "whole g e n e r a t i o n s d i e d , u n c h r i s t e n e d "  (195).  He can never be t r u l y Adamic, then; an e s t a b l i s h e d  t r a d i t i o n of naming has a l r e a d y c r e a t e d the H i s t a s k i s r e a l l y more l i k e C h r i s t ' s :  illegitimacy.  He must name,  b a p t i z e , C h r i s t - e n the p o s t - c o l o n i a l r e a l i t y i n t o a system of The  legitimacy. Father, who  As C h r i s t , he must always a c t i n r e l a t i o n t o i s , from the beginning of t h i s  "an absent master / i n the middle of another  narrative,  life"  (145).  8  N e v e r t h e l e s s , Walcott does i n s i s t on c e l e b r a t i n g h i s "task of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r names," thereby perhaps attempting t o redeem h i s e a r l i e r inconstancy i n p r e f e r r i n g elms t o b r e a d f r u i t . his  Again, however, the Adamic q u a l i t y of  c a t a l o g u i n g i s c u r i o u s l y compromised by the  c o n n o t a t i v e language he uses.  intensely  Much of the f l o r a of the  r e g i o n , f o r example, i s d e s c r i b e d with m i l i t a r y associations.  Thus t h e r e are the "coconut  lances"  the " d i s c o n s o l a t e plumes / of the cabbage palms' (176), and  casques"  "the golden cocoa's t a t t e r e d e p a u l e t t e s " (179).  The allamandas* charges"  (145),  (156).  flowers suggest  "bugles" but "nobody  As the allamandas f a l l ,  they are  n e v e r t h e l e s s "medalling the shoulders of the l a s t  visitor"  (256), w h i l e other flowers "medalled the gravestones Inniskillings" The  of the  (172).  language t h i s Adam must use t o i n s c r i b e the  flora  23  of t h e Caribbean  i s weighted  with other a s s o c i a t i o n s and  e x p e r i e n c e s b e s i d e s the m i l i t a r y ones.  The b o u g a i n v i l l e a  which grows o u t s i d e the poet's c h i l d h o o d home, f o r example, i s d e s c r i b e d as having thorns which "moult l i k e o l d fingernails"  (156), s i g n a l l i n g i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h t h e home  and thus w i t h the poet's mother, now dead from cancer. i n t h e f o l l o w i n g passage which i n s c r i b e s such r e a l i t i e s as banyans, mangroves, gibbons  And  tropical  ( i f only  o b l i q u e l y ) , whelk p i c k e r s , lagoons, and r e d s o l d i e r crabs, the language suggests some i n e s c a p a b l e h i e r a r c h i e s : p a t r i c a r c h a l banyans, bearded  with v i n e s from which b l a c k  schoolboys  qibboned. brooded on a lagoon seasoned  with dead l e a v e s ,  mangroves knee-deep i n water crouched  l i k e whelk p i c k e r s on brown, s p i n d l y l e g s  scattering red soldier  crabs  scrabbling f o r redcoats' meat (148, my emphasis) What i s a l s o f a s c i n a t i n g about t h i s extremely passage i s the Ovidean ambiguity metaphors and syntax.  red  c r e a t e d through  both  The humans t u r n i n t o animals  the t r e e s become brooding bearded pickers.  connotative  while  p a t r i a r c h s and whelk  I t i s u n c l e a r whether the mangroves s c a t t e r t h e  s o l d i e r crabs or whether t h a t i s done by t h e whelk  pickers  (who e x i s t only as metaphor).  24 As w e l l as the t r o p i c a l f l o r a and fauna, t h i s Adam must try  t o name i n t o the Western l i t e r a r y d i s c o u r s e a c l i m a t e  which i s not y e t represented.  In p l a c e of Wordsworth's  g e n t l e breezes, clouds, and m i s t s , t h e r e i s the mesmerizing sun  (145).  I t s s e t t i n g and dawn are " l i k e manacles [which]  chafed h i s w r i s t "  (217), thus r e c a l l i n g the  h i s t o r y of s l a v e r y .  Caribbean  Twilight i s also associated with  drunkenness: "as i t s amber climbed / the b e e r - s t e i n o v a l s of the B r i t i s h f o r t / above the promontory, the sky / grew drunk w i t h l i g h t " throughout,  (145).  T h i s drunkenness i s a minor theme  a s s o c i a t e d not only with the B r i t i s h  " c o l o n e l s i n the whisky-coloured G r e g o r i a s and h i s f a t h e r . sun:  light"  military—  (148)—but  also with  Gregorias i s a l s o compared t o the  the poet says t h a t he so c h r i s t e n e d him  because  G r e g o r i a s "sounds e x p l o s i v e , / a black Greek's!  A sun t h a t  stands back / from the f i r e of i t s e l f , not shamed, p r i z i n g / i t s shadow, watching  i t b l a z e ! " (294).  The poet's f i r s t love, Anna, i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d i n terms of  the sun, which i s dated from her b i r t h :  y e a r - o l d sun / p l a t e s her with l i g h t "  "The s i x t e e n -  (229).  Not o n l y does  the sun date from her b i r t h , but Anna becomes the sun f o r the young poet as "he wished h i m s e l f moving / y e t f o r e v e r t h e r e . / The d i s c of the world turned / s l o w l y , she was i t s centre"  (229).  T h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of h i s l o v e i n t e r e s t s  w i t h the sun continues when, much l a t e r i n l i f e ,  he begins a  p r a y e r by c a l l i n g the sun "holy," and then addresses h i s  25 w i f e , Margaret,  as holy, s a y i n g t h e r e i s n o t h i n g f o r him now  but t o " s i t i n the sun t o burn"  (290).  He goes on t o  remember Anna, s a y i n g t h a t he wishes " t o have burnt out desire, fire"  / l u s t , except f o r the sun / w i t h her corona o f  (290).  Thus the two women a r e connected  through  this  imagery, which e s t a b l i s h e s them as c e n t r a l i n h i s l i f e , but a l s o as p o t e n t i a l l y The  destructive.  sun's dominance i n t h a t landscape  i s clearly  i n d i c a t e d i n the poet's prayer when he i s " [ b j u r n e d i n t h e pyre o f t h e sun" and s i t s i n i t s r o a r " l i k e a l o t u s y o g i f o l d e d on h i s bed of c o a l s [ h i s ] head . . . c i r c l e d w i t h a r i n g of f i r e "  (288).  H i s p r a y e r f u l r e f e r e n c e s t o i t as "my  son, my sun" (289) o f f e r the p o t e n t i a l o f an a l t e r n a t i v e t o the imposed C h r i s t i a n "Son" d e i t y .  Despite  (or because of)  i t s c l e a r l y d e s t r u c t i v e p o t e n t i a l , he prays towards i t s "holy, r e p e t i t i v e r e s u r r e c t i o n " and he " r e p e a t [ s ] [ h i m ] s e l f / p r a y e r , same prayer, towards f i r e , repeats i t s e l f "  same f i r e  / as t h e sun  (289) .  F i n a l l y , however, as much as he can t r y t o make t h e language new by d e s c r i b i n g h i s own landscape, t h e Adamic Walcott must work w i t h i n an e s t a b l i s h e d iconography of n a t u r e ; a f t e r he has added t o i t , he must a l s o c h a l l e n g e o r subvert that discourse.  (Thus, a c c o r d i n g t o H a r o l d Bloom,  he i s as much S a t a n i c as he i s Adamic. ) 9  In The P r e l u d e ,  Wordsworth uses imagery and symbols which have a l o n g e s t a b l i s h e d meaning w i t h i n Western l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n .  The  26 river,  for  instance,  tradition.  The  specifically does  use  breeze,  Romantic  some o f  Wordsworth, landscape  i s often  but  or  the  as  Abrams  to  refer to  has  pointed  association with same s y m b o l s  modifies  nature  used  he  them  to  inhabits  and  that  out,  has  creativity. images  better as  just  of  Walcott  nature  represent  well  as  to  a  as  the  suit  his  themes. While  he  does  this,  Walcott  traditional  categories  of  categories,  of  leave  agency.  They  inevitable awe  which  change.  who  allow  Perhaps with  finally  this  and  categories  even  of  throughout  The  beautiful  (or  sublime.  "glorious"  The  Sea  the In  Book  IV,  pomp,  be  the  the  fear  challenges  1 0  of  reflect  The  his  Prelude  Adamic  tawdry, to  and  the  Walcott the exclusive  sublime. references  to  asserting  variant  for  a  The  as  example,  than  distance"  the  sea  i t as  thereof—the  "Magnificent  at  but  name t h e  / More g l o r i o u s  laughing  or  silences  dichotomy,  generally  Romantic  must  possibility  must  several  Prelude,  political  perfection, any  the  These  any  which  tradition.  comic  landscape:  was  the  discourse  makes  quietism  excluding  the  for  Wordsworth's  b e a u t i f u l and  Wordsworth  room  precluding  some o f this  no  the  thus  challenging  beautiful/sublime.  aesthetic  perpetuate  inherits  memorable  to  paralyse,  pathetic,  or  only  response  discomfort does  course,  is also  i t forms  / The I  picturesque) part  morning  ever  had  (330-35).  either  of  was,  beheld. I t moves  a a / from  27 t h i s c a t e g o r y t o the sublime and back i n Book V, when h i s f r i e n d f a l l s a s l e e p by i t s shores and has h i s s t r a n g e dream about the Arab with the Books of Stone and S h e l l , which the "waters of the deep" (V.130), the " f l e e t waters of the drowning  world"  (V.136) t h r e a t e n t o o b l i t e r a t e .  Some  ambiguity i n the Sea's d e p i c t i o n i s suggested i n Book X I I I when "the Sea, the r e a l Sea up i t s majesty"  . . . seemed t o dwindle and g i v e  (XIII.49-50), but only t o be r e p l a c e d by  another " s t i l l Ocean" formed by the r e v e r s a l of p e r c e p t i o n which sees the mountains as a huge sea, and which a l l o w s the redemptive v i s i o n which culminates the work. Walcott's metaphors f o r the ocean a l l e s t a b l i s h i t as v e r y m a t e r i a l and t a n g i b l e .  Yet some do suggest the  sublime: when he d e s c r i b e s i t as animal, the animal i s e i t h e r somewhat dangerously f u r r e d and clawed  (263), or  s t u n n i n g l y huge-eyed, a c r e a t u r e whose waves are blows from "weary, p e l a g i c e y e l i d s "  (198).  And  lumbering although a  human sea i s o b v i o u s l y l e s s than sublime, W a l c o t t ' s p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n g i v e s i t the mouth of an " o l d gravekeeper / white-headed,  lantern-jawed" (293).  do evoke something  But i f these metaphors  of the sublime, h i s sublime i s v e r y  d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of Wordsworth f o r whom the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l sublime i s f i n a l l y a welcome i n v i t a t i o n back t o an i n t e g r a t e d r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Nature.  Walcott,  i n s t e a d , f i n d s i t impersonal, i n d i f f e r e n t , and  obliterating.  The sea he d e s c r i b e s i s , i f sometimes sublime, an a s p e c t of  28 nature which o f f e r s no nurture or guidance denies:  but which  merely  "0 o c e a n i c past / we were l i k e c h i l d r e n / emptying  the A t l a n t i c with an enamel cup. / I crouched under each c r e s t / t h e s n e e r i n g wave . . . " (208).  Here t h e s e a i s  a s s o c i a t e d with h i s t o r y , which f i n a l l y ,  like  Naipaul's  comments, renders the Caribbean a r t i s t s  irrelevant.  Walcott's r e f e r e n c e s t o the sea suggest both t h e o b l i t e r a t i n g power of the b o o k / h i s t o r y and the Caribbean's a b s o l u t e l a c k of h i s t o r y . h i s t o r y book.  The sea i s r e a l l y the Caribbean's  Not only d i d i t b r i n g the B r i t i s h  masters,  but i t a l s o , of course, c a r r i e d the s l a v e s from A f r i c a t o St. L u c i a , and i t continues t o separate the Caribbean s u b j e c t from both a n c e s t r a l lands.  The poet searches i t f o r  a r e c o r d o f h i s "white g r a n d f a t h e r ' s f a c e " o r h i s " b l a c k g r a n d f a t h e r ' s v o i c e " (208).  I t carries a l l history,  the recorded of A l b i o n , Sidon, Tyre, and Byzantium and t h e unrecorded Ashanti"  (285).  both  (208),  of the "Madrasi, the Mandingo, t h e And the sea which c a r r i e s a l l t h i s  is indifferent to i t : The sand had seen b a t t a l i o n s come and go the v i n e s had w r i t t e n t h e i r memorials, a l l o f t h a t cannon f i r e taken up by c l o u d . Nothing had a l t e r e d the t e a l or m a l l a r d ' s r o u t e , a l l t h a t s a l t blood t h i n n e d out i n the s a l t  There was no h i s t o r y .  No memory.  surf  history  29 Rocks haunted  by s e a b i r d s , t h a t was  all.  (256)  L i k e the f l o o d i n g waters which t h r e a t e n t o overtake  and  drown Wordsworth's Arab and h i s p r e c i o u s books, W a l c o t t ' s sea o f f e r s t o o b l i t e r a t e h i s t o r y , a l l o w i n g us t o b e g i n again, but a t the c o s t of r e n d e r i n g the poet's work irrelevant. The Adamic Walcott attempts t o counter  this  o b l i t e r a t i n g e f f e c t by h i s a c t of naming the a s p e c t s of the ocean which cannot be c o n f i n e d under the headings b e a u t i f u l or sublime.  of  He d e s c r i b e s i t i n very q u o t i d i a n and  m a t e r i a l terms, thus c r e a t i n g some space f o r q u e s t i o n i n g i t s mastery.  The most r e c u r r e n t image, and t h a t which  i n t r o d u c e s the sea l i k e n s i t t o a book: . . t h i s ocean's a shut book" (145). something  "pages of the sea .  Although t h e r e i s  of the transcendent i n t h i s image, i t i s a l s o very  t a n g i b l e , m a t e r i a l , and contained.  After a l l ,  the r e a d e r of  these l i n e s holds a book and the speaker i s c r e a t i n g  one.  S i m i l a r l y , the engine t o which the sea i s compared, which might suggest the powerful and even the sublime  (150,  292),  t u r n s out t o be the very q u o t i d i a n engine of a i r conditioners.  The ocean's shallows are d e s c r i b e d as s e r v e r s  i n a C a t h o l i c p r o c e s s i o n , another metaphor drawn from Island's d a i l y l i f e . trite  the  Walcott a l s o t u r n s the book i n t o a  "catalogue / of s h e l l s and a l g a e " (24) , and draws  a t t e n t i o n t o the tawdry by p e r s o n i f y i n g the ocean as a s l u t : "Lost, l o s t , r a i n - h i d d e n , p r e c i p i t o u s , debased, / ocean's  30 s o i l e d l a c e around her d i r t y ankle"  (182).  Both Walcott and Wordsworth use t h e moon as a c e n t r a l image.  For Wordsworth, again, t h e moon can be p a r t o f  either a beautiful  (or picturesque) landscape as i n h i s  c l a i m t h a t , j u s t as he loved the sun, so t o him was t h e moon "dear" a l l o w i n g him t o "dream away my purposes,  / Standing  t o look upon her while she hung / Midway between t h e h i l l s , as i f she knew / No other r e g i o n but belonged  t o thee  and t h y grey huts, my d a r l i n g V a l e ! " (11.196-202).  . . .  Or i t i s  p a r t o f t h e sublime as i n the Mt. Snowdon r e v e l a t i o n o f Book X I I I where t h e "Moon stood naked i n t h e Heavens" ( X I I I . 4 1 ) , and  "looked down upon t h i s shew [of mountains  i n t o Ocean] / i n s i n g l e g l o r y "  transformed  (XIII.52-3).  Walcott draws on t r a d i t i o n a l Western iconography  which  reads t h e moon as a symbol of inconstancy and r e v e r s a l .  I  have a l r e a d y p o i n t e d out t h a t the poet's c h i l d h o o d s e l f , as her s u b j e c t , i s g u i l t y of such inconstancy as b e t r a y i n g t h e palms and b r e a d f r u i t of h i s i s l a n d f o r t h e elms and oak o f the c o l o n i z e r ' s poet's  (148).  The same inconstancy a f f e c t s t h e  i s l a n d audience; they "have drunk t h e moon-milk" and  are now o n l y "poor n e g a t i v e s , " t o whom he i s unsure how t o t e l l h i s s t o r y , a s t o r y which w i l l r e t u r n him t o an e a r l i e r moon which has long s i n c e faded "with t h e e l a t e of a b u l b " it,  (151).  extinction  T h i s l a s t image of t h e moon o f t e n l i n k s  i n Another L i f e , with the sea; the sea i s t h e book and  the moon i s the l i g h t b u l b which i l l u m i n a t e s i t .  Again, t h e  31 Mt.  Snowdon scene  Walcott  i s r e c a l l e d but with t h e d i f f e r e n c e t h a t  i s , i n s t e a d of r e c o u n t i n g h i m s e l f i n such a scene,  l o o k i n g back a t t h e f i g u r e of another poet p o i s e d between sea and m o o n — t h a t o f h i s now-dead t e a c h e r and mentor, Harry Simmons. A l l o f these images of t h e moon seem t o r e s i s t a confinement  t o e i t h e r t h e b e a u t i f u l or t h e sublime.  Although t h e moon has the power t o whiten t h e i s l a n d e r s and t o magnify "the l i f e beneath her l i k e a r e a d i n g g l a s s " (149), t h i s i s undercut both by the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n which e s t a b l i s h e s her as a s l u t (152)  1 1  who lends t h e town h e r l a c e  and whose f i n g e r s s t r o k e the sea, and t h e s i m i l e which  l i k e n s her t o a bulb which, a f t e r a l l ,  can be t u r n e d on and  o f f , and must, e v e n t u a l l y , wear out, f a d i n g t o e x t i n c t i o n . As w e l l , she i s presented as r a t h e r comic i n t h e l i n e , "a moon b a l l o o n e d up from t h e W i r e l e s s S t a t i o n " sublime  i s acknowledged.  (146).  Yet t h e  The w r i t e r ' s "dun f l e s h , " f o r  example, i s "peeled white by her l i g h t n i n g s t r o k e s , " s u r e l y a t e r r i f y i n g , or sublime,  image.  And i n an image which  a g a i n l i n k s moon and sea, "the enormous, l i d l e s s e y e b a l l o f the moon" swims "towards us . . . g i b b e r i n g w i t h  silence,  s t r u c k / by something i t cannot answer / or t h e worst, t h e worst,  an oceanic nothing"  (263-4).  I f Walcott has been able t o i n t r o d u c e i n t o t h e d i s c o u r s e s l i g h t m o d i f i c a t i o n s t o the r i g i d  categorization  of c e r t a i n accepted symbols of Nature as e i t h e r b e a u t i f u l or  32 sublime, h i s almost complete  r e j e c t i o n of the symbol of the  wind or breeze marks the d i f f e r e n c e between h i s and Wordsworth's d e p i c t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r t i s t and Nature. use of amber.  Walcott chooses  i n s t e a d t o invoke the  T h i s n a t u r a l l y d e r i v e d substance  artist's  (a  f o s s i l i z e d p i n e sap) i s used as a f i x a t i v e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the most canonized r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of Western a r t . References t o i t ,  then, allow Walcott t o a l l u d e e c o n o m i c a l l y  t o the canon and t o the a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s .  As w e l l ,  the  p a r t i c u l a r g r e e n i s h c a s t which i t imparts t o the p a i n t e d s u r f a c e i s analogous t o the i n e v i t a b l e c o l o u r i n g of the viewer's  (or reader's) p e r c e p t i o n which i s i n h e r e n t i n any  form of a r t , and as Edward Baugh p o i n t s out, t o the t r a n s f i g u r i n g r o l e p l a y e d by the "amber g l a z e of the poet's memory/imagination . . . [which]  [p]aradoxically  a c t u a l i s e s and i d e a l i s e s at the same time" ( 8 9 ) .  . . . 12  Wordsworth's c o n t i n u a l moves from s y n a e s t h e t i c d e s c r i p t i o n s of m a t e r i a l Nature t o those of an  ineffable  t r a n s c e n d e n t one r e f l e c t h i s attempts t o move back t o a r e a s s u r i n g oneness,  t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p between Nature  Mind i n which Nature i s accepted as primary guide  and  and  n u r t u r e r , y e t wherein t h e r e i s r e c i p r o c i t y between the W a l c o t t ' s more p a i n t e r l y approach r e f l e c t s h i s own  two.  more  ambivalent r e l a t i o n s h i p with Nature. H i s i s a Nature which i n s p i r e s and c h a l l e n g e s the a r t i s t , v i r g i n a l , unpainted world"  o f f e r i n g him  "a  (294), but which c o n t i n u a l l y  33  f r u s t r a t e s him,  o b l i t e r a t i n g any achievement  overwhelming him with Walcott's  and  indifference.  a r t i s t s t r y t o achieve mastery over  landscape/nature.  the  Gregorias, f o r example, marches towards  the A t l a n t i c w i t h "the e a s e l r i f l e d on h i s s h o u l d e r , " l i k e a s o l d i e r going i n t o b a t t l e . western breakers  He s i n g s "0 P a r a d i s o " u n t i l  laboured to t h a t music" w h i l e h i s canvas i s  " c r u c i f i e d against a tree"  (194).  T h i s t w i s t e d passage  which e c o n o m i c a l l y i n c o r p o r a t e s r e f e r e n c e s t o both and redemption into  "the  paradise  (through a r t ? ) t u r n s Wordsworth's r e c i p r o c i t y  something more s i n i s t e r : Gregorias i s a b l e t o make the  waves submit t o the domination  of h i s song, y e t h i s canvas  i s f i n a l l y c r u c i f i e d against a tree. Walcott draws on h i s own  e a r l y f r u s t r a t i o n s as a  d e v e l o p i n g p a i n t e r t o d e s c r i b e a Nature which r e f l e c t s h i s inadequacy back t o him.  I f the poem o v e r a l l i s an  attempt  t o f i n d some meaning t o the poet's p o s i t i o n v i s a v i s the landscape,  the c o n c e i t of Nature as an impatient  p o s i n g f o r an inadequate i f poignant way landscape  artist,  i s a wonderfully  of u n d e r l i n i n g t h a t theme.  sitter effective,  Thus the  "frowns a t i t s image" over the p a i n t e r ' s shoulder,  w h i l e "the mountain's crouching back begins t o ache," and " l i k e a t i r e d s i t t e r / the world s h i f t s i t s weight" 8).  (197-  When Walcott's r e f e r e n c e s to Van Gogh ("Dear Theo")  remind us t h a t other a r t i s t s have gone mad  i n response  to  t h i s c h a l l e n g e , h i s language echoes Lear i n h i s q u e s t i o n ,  34  "Is  t h a t where i t l i e s ,  g l i n t / of some g u l l y  / i n the l i g h t of t h a t l e a f ,  the  . . . Nature i s a f i r e / through  door of t h i s landscape / I have entered a f u r n a c e "  the  (199).  13  T h i s q u e s t i o n , together with the f o l l o w i n g comment t h a t "I  have t o i l e d a l l of l i f e f o r t h i s f a i l u r e "  r e c a l l s Wordsworth's "Was of  i t for this?"  1 4  (200)  also  But Wordsworth,  course, i s l o o k i n g backward, wondering i f i t was  to allow  him t o reach t h i s l e v e l of p o e t i c awareness and s k i l l  that  the f a i r Derwent R i v e r nurtured him through c h i l d h o o d .  The  d i f f i c u l t q u e s t i o n seems d e l i b e r a t e l y balanced by the n u r t u r i n g s e c u r i t y of a very tame nature. is  Walcott,  instead,  l o o k i n g t o the f r i g h t e n i n g f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s which are  p a r t of s u b m i t t i n g t o the poet's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a nature much more dangerous than Wordsworth i s w i l l i n g t o admit. For Walcott, then, r a t h e r than the o p t i o n of a r e c i p r o c a l l y n u r t u r i n g and c r e a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between mind and nature, the c h o i c e i s r a t h e r of s t r u g g l e , submission, or o b l i t e r a t i o n .  His mentor and  painting  t e a c h e r r e t r e a t s i n t o nature, G a u g u i n - l i k e . As contemplates  h i s canvas,  to  (262).  bedstead"  he  a " s p i d e r began t o t h r e a d / e a s e l  T h i s image, which again r e c a l l s  Van  Gogh's t o r t u r e d s t r u g g l e with a r t , a l s o foregrounds  the  d i f f i c u l t y of the a r t i s t ' s task which i s u l t i m a t e l y  an  attempt  t o come t o terms with nature, knowing t h a t  which always o u t l a s t and supersede  the a r t i s t ' s  nature  efforts.  Yet the t r u e a r t i s t cannot r e s i s t the c h a l l e n g e , and  35 Simmons' death i s foreshadowed by h i s c l a i m , a g a i n i n a p a i n t e r l y metaphor, t h a t i t "would be worth i t t o f a l l / w i t h the meteor's orange brushstroke / from a f a l l i n g hand, t o hope / t h e r e i s p a i n t i n g i n heaven" (267-8).  This  gorgeous image p a r a d o x i c a l l y a s s e r t s the ascendancy of n a t u r e — h o w c o u l d an a r t i s t hope f o r an a c c e p t a b l e mimesis of  a f i e r y meteor—yet  d e p i c t s the meteor i t s e l f as o n l y a  d y i n g p a i n t e r ' s a c c i d e n t a l brushstroke. The  s e l f - i m m o l a t i o n i m p l i e d i n the a s s o c i a t i o n of the  meteor w i t h Simmons' eventual s u i c i d e i s s u b t l y r e c a l l e d i n W a l c o t t ' s f i n a l address t o h i s f r i e n d and f e l l o w a r t i s t . " G r e g o r i a s , " he says, " l i s t e n , world!"  (294).  l i t , we were the l i g h t  of the  Not only does t h i s image acknowledge the  d e s t r u c t i v e aspect of attempting t o redeem the world, but i t a l s o , i n i t s use of the past tense, c o n t r a s t s w i t h Prelude's c l o s i n g exhortation to Coleridge.  In the  The latter,  Wordsworth, w i t h a confidence r e s t o r e d by a v i s i o n of a n u r t u r i n g Nature, of  pledges h i m s e l f and C o l e r i d g e as  Nature" t o i n s t r u c t others "how  A thousand dwells"  the mind of man  of  becomes /  times more b e a u t i f u l than the e a r t h / On which he  (589).  Examining h i s past r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Nature  g i v e s him the a b i l i t y t o face the f u t u r e w i t h f a i t h hope.  "Prophets  Walcott's s i m i l a r examination,  and  however, reminds him  a time when he had s i m i l a r hope and optimism,  which i s not e n t i r e l y abandoned, but i s now r e s i g n e d commitment t o "beginning again."  an  optimism  modified to a  36  Chapter Two - "What E l s e Was He But a D i v i d e d In h i s treatment of the d i v i d e d s e l f , again both claims and m o d i f i e s through and represented Walcott i n h e r i t s literature.  Walcott once  an i n h e r i t a n c e  by The Prelude.  Child?"  transmitted  Through Wordsworth,  a t r a d i t i o n long imbedded i n E n g l i s h  In t h i s t r a d i t i o n , the d i v i d e d s e l f i s  p r e s e n t e d as a f a l l  away from an o r i g i n a l p a r a d i s a l  i n t e g r i t y w i t h nature, a f a l l brought about through man's own f a u l t thought).  ( i n Wordsworth, the f a u l t of overThis imperialist  c o n d i t i o n o f being  tradition  analytical  ignores  the c o l o n i a l  born i n t o a p o s t - l a p s a r i a n world; i t i s  W a l c o t t ' s task t o modify the model by d e s c r i b i n g h i s own d i v i d e d s e l f as being,  i f a " f a l l e n " c o n d i t i o n , then one  which i s not h i s f a u l t but h i s i n h e r i t a n c e . a c c e p t s and m o d i f i e s  He s i m i l a r l y  the i n h e r i t a n c e of a model whereby t h e  poet c e l e b r a t e s , by the very a c t of w r i t i n g , t h a t same d i v i s i o n he c l a i m s as a f a l l e n and lamentable c o n d i t i o n . F i n a l l y , Walcott i n h e r i t s through Wordsworth t h e i n c l i n a t i o n t o w r i t e towards i n t e g r i t y . w h i l e he t o o f i n a l l y presents autobiographical  a formally  integrated  s e l f , he achieves t h i s by a r t i c u l a t i n g  doubts and d i v i s i o n s The  Here, h i s m o d i f i c a t i o n i s t h a t  r a t h e r than s i l e n c i n g  o r denying them.  c r i s i s which shapes The Prelude i s t h a t o f t h e  d i v i s i o n w i t h i n Wordsworth, o s t e n s i b l y occasioned response t o the French R e v o l u t i o n  by h i s  (or h i s response t o t h e  English reaction to that revolution).  This  crisis  37  i n t e r r u p t s an e a r l i e r i n t e g r i t y , an i n t e g r i t y which i s u l t i m a t e l y r e s t o r e d through a r e t u r n t o an acceptance of n a t u r a l order.  The  p a t t e r n here i s not only  B i b l i c a l model of P a r a d i s e - F a l l as M.H.  Abrams p o i n t s out,  t h a t of  - Redemption.  the p a t t e r n of the  the  the  It i s also,  Romantic  p h i l o s o p h y which s e c u l a r i z e s t h i s model, r e t a i n i n g i t s a s s e r t i o n of an i n i t i a l u n i t y f o l l o w e d  by a f a l l i n g  out  or away from t h i s i n t o "a p o s i t i o n of remoteness and a l i e n a t i o n " with an eventual r e t u r n t o u n i t y and thanks t o a "cohesive and  of  . . .  perfection  sustaining supernatural  energy"  (152) . As Abrams sums up Romantic philosophy, the f r a c t u r e r e s u l t i n g from man's r e f l e c t i o n and i s "conceived of as having two the other moral."  d i v i s i o n s , one  cognitive  outer nature,  the second m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f himself  dimension . . . the u n i t y with i t s e l f  in a s p l i t within  . . . .  the  In i t s moral  l o s s of the mind's o r i g i n a l  . . . through man's emergent  awareness of an o p p o s i t i o n that  philosophizing  While the f i r s t of these i s seen i n a  d i v i s i o n between mind and  nature of man  primal  and  c o n f l i c t between  'nature' which i s the substratum of h i s human  nature  (man's n a t u r a l i n s t i n c t s , d e s i r e s ,  compulsions . . . ) and  his subjective  and  'reason'  (the c a p a c i t y t o d i s t i n g u i s h a l t e r n a t i v e  choices  which are r i g h t or wrong) together with h i s  and  38 s u b j e c t i v e realm of 'freedom' (the c a p a c i t y t o choose what i s r i g h t and r e j e c t what i s wrong). (182) Wordsworth's d e s c r i p t i o n of h i m s e l f c o n t i n u a l l y r e f l e c t s a sense o f s p l i t t i n g :  i n the beginning l i n e s ,  f o r example, he  n a r r a t e s being able, "by miraculous g i f t " t o shake o f f " [ t ] h a t burthen of my own unnatural s e l f "  (1.21-23);  later,  he t e l l s t h e reader t h a t when he t h i n k s back t o h i s e a r l y life,  he sometimes seems "[T]wo c o n s c i o u s n e s s e s " Later s t i l l ,  (11.32).  Wordsworth speaks of moments i n which  "such a h o l y calm / D i d overspread my s o u l , t h a t I f o r g o t / That I had b o d i l y eyes"  (11.367-369).  In such moments o f  overcoming h i s b o d i l y or sensory s e l f , the poet a c h i e v e s a unity: . . . i n a l l things I saw one l i f e ,  and f e l t t h a t i t was j o y .  One song they sang, and i t was a u d i b l e , Most a u d i b l e then when the f l e s h l y ear, O'ercome by g r o s s e r prelude of t h a t s t r a i n , Forgot i t s f u n c t i o n s , and s l e p t u n d i s t u r b e d . As Abrams p o i n t s out, t h i s i s Wordsworth's own v e r s i o n o f the Romantic p h i l o s o p h y : u n i t y with h i m s e l f and h i s world i s the p r i m a l and normative  s t a t e of man, of which the s i g n i s a  f u l l n e s s o f shared l i f e a n a l y t i c thought  and the c o n d i t i o n o f j o y ;  d i v i d e s the mind from nature and  39 object  f r o m o b j e c t , and t h i s  absolute, with  kills  division, i f  the object i t severs  spiritual  death  been s e v e r e d . "  (278)  and t h r e a t e n s  t h e mind f r o m w h i c h i t h a s  T h i s r e a d i n g o f t h e poem, t h o u g h p e r h a p s n o t c o m p r e h e n s i v e , is  a satisfying  the  concept  one w h i c h p r o v i d e s  of the divided s e l f  Walcott  takes  this  provides the central artist's both  life  structuring  crisis  b u t a l s o o f h i s work  i s found  experiences:  inherited  by  Walcott.  inheritance—a self-division  e n d o r s e s and m o d i f i e s  tradition  a v e r y u s e f u l summary o f  i t .  n o t o n l y o f an  (or v i c e  versa?)—and  H i s endorsement o f t h e  in his inscription  of the d i v i s i o n  about t h e t u r m o i l occasioned  Walcott  by t h e d i v i s i o n  d e s i r e t o p a i n t and h i s g r e a t e r s k i l l w r i t i n g i n middle  also writes between h i s  as a poet.  as  a poet  of  h i s y o u t h f u l o p t i m i s m and t h e more p r a g m a t i c  of  maturity.  not such  r a t h e r than  age, he i s d i v i d e d by t h e memory  modifies the t r a d i t i o n  falling  into division,  a normal p a r t o f t h e c o l o n i a l  i n t o u n i t y and i n t e g r i t y colonialism.  resignation  The t i t l e  i s in insisting  such  division  condition.  is,in  He i s b o r n  b u t i n t o a l a n g u a g e m a r k e d by f o r the f i r s t  Another L i f e — " T h e Divided C h i l d " — i s protest  Finally,  1 5  Where W a l c o t t  fact,  he  between h i s b l a c k / C a r i b b e a n / A f r i c a n a n d h i s  w h i t e / E u r o p e a n a n c e s t r y and c u l t u r e .  that  which  a g a i n s t Wordsworth's c l a i m s  chapter of  Walcott's  strenuous  f o r the i n t e g r i t y of  40 childhood.  Walcott i n s i s t s t h a t "from c h i l d h o o d  c o n s i d e r e d palms / i g n o b l e r than imagined "had prayed  he'd  elms" (148)  and  / n i g h t l y f o r h i s f l e s h t o change, / h i s dun  f l e s h p e e l e d white by her l i g h t n i n g s t r o k e s ! " (148-9). own  i m a g i n a t i o n ' s i d e a l i z a t i o n of Europe d i v i d e d the  His  child  Walcott from h i s d a i l y experiences; the n i g h t l y p r a y e r f o r s k i n t o match h i s imagination i s a poignant demonstration i n t e r n a l d i v i s i o n and  of  self-hatred.  S i m i l a r l y , the d i v e r g i n g d i r e c t i o n s i n which the  child  i s p u l l e d are demonstrated by the bedtime j u x t a p o s i t i o n of the "magic l a n t e r n shows" of the "black l a m p l i g h t e r w i t h Demeter's t o r c h " with h i s C l a s s i c a l / W e s t e r n " c h i l d r e n ' s l i t e r a t u r e " r e p r e s e n t e d by N a t h a n i e l Hawthorne's Tanqlewood T a l e s and C h a r l e s K i n g s l e y ' s Heroes (158).  The two  stanzas  which d e s c r i b e the l a m p l i g h t e r frame the two which d e s c r i b e the boy  i n bed,  forming a c o n t r a s t between h i s c o m f o r t a b l e  home and the surrounding w i l d .  Outside i s magical  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n as i r o n t r e e s are i g n i t e d , and the " r e e l s " w i t h the r e f l e c t i o n of t h i s a c t i o n .  ceiling  T h i s magic i s  a s s o c i a t e d with the l a m p l i g h t e r ' s blackness, and both w i t h the darkness  of n i g h t as w e l l as with the nearby  shacks.  A s c r i b i n g Demeter's t o r c h t o the b l a c k l a m p l i g h t e r i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the boy's awareness t h a t , although  not  r e c o r d e d i n the w h i t e / l i t e r a r y / A n g l i c i z e d e d u c a t i o n he i s r e c e i v i n g , t h e r e i s nonetheless p o t e n t i a l f o r s t o r y i n the everyday  f o l k experience surrounding  him.  41 Iri t h e daytime, the boy l e a r n s the h i s t o r y o f h i s European g r a n d f a t h e r s and imagines h i m s e l f i n b a t t l e a g a i n s t the Other which r e p r e s e n t s p a r t of h i m s e l f :  "I butchered  f e l l a h e e n , thuggees, Mamelukes, wogs." (211)  The c h i l d ' s  imagined r e l a t i o n of h i m s e l f t o t h i s classroom one  " l i k e a r i b b e d mongrel / t r a i l i n g the f a d i n g l e g i o n s "  (214).  Wordsworth experienced  although The  h i s t o r y i s of  l i t t l e unhappiness a t s c h o o l  Cambridge proved a t r i a l  first  in his later  adolescence.  two books of The Prelude d e t a i l a c h i l d h o o d i n a  determinedly  joyous manner.  Even when Wordsworth and h i s  schoolmates " l i v e d / Through t h r e e d i v i s i o n s o f t h e q u a r t e r e d year / i n pennyless p r e s e n t s such poverty  poverty"  (11.83-85), he  i n p o s i t i v e terms, s a y i n g t h a t "we  knew t h e b l e s s i n g then / of vigorous hunger" (11.80-81, my emphasis).  Walcott  i n s t e a d focuses on t h e c u r r i c u l u m which  g l o r i f i e d h i s European h e r i t a g e w h i l e t e a c h i n g him t o f e e l ashamed o f , or ignore as i r r e l e v a n t , h i s A f r i c a n a n c e s t r y . F u r t h e r evidence c h i l d h o o d i s found juxtaposes  of d i v i d i n g f o r c e s i n W a l c o t t ' s  i n Chapter Four, t h e chapter  C h r i s t i a n i t y with "negromancy."  which  That t h i s was a  v e r y e a r l y d i v i s i o n , and t h a t i t was p e r c e i v e d a t t h e l e v e l of  the body, the t h r e s h o l d of the s e l f  level), The  i s clear  ( i . e . on a p e r s o n a l  i n the f o l l o w i n g l i n e s :  c l o v e n hoof, the h a i r y paw  d e s p i t e the p a s s i o n a t e , Methodism of my i n f a n c y .  pragmatic  42 crawled till  through the t h i c k e t of my  sometimes the s k i n p r i c k l e d  even i n sunshine Walcott  hair,  at "negromancy.  11  (166, my  emphasis)  p l a y s with the a l t e r n a t e s p e l l i n g of "necromancy"  s t r e n g t h e n i n g the emphasis on the a s s o c i a t i o n between the "black a r t s " and h i s b l a c k s k i n ; as w e l l , the word i s p l a c e d t o rhyme with and p l a y a g a i n s t " i n f a n c y . " on "the body's memory" (167)  In h i s i n s i s t e n c e  which holds t h i s atavism  which i s a l s o the p l a c e "where A f r i c a began" (167), p o i n t s t o a h i s t o r y and a geography which render c h i l d h o o d a d i v i d e d one  and  Walcott  his  f a r d i f f e r e n t from the p a r a d i s a l  s t a t e which Wordsworth d e s c r i b e s . The p a i n of t h i s d i v i s i o n i s obvious, p a l p a b l e presence i n Walcott's Instead of  and  i t is a  l i f e from h i s e a r l i e s t days.  Wordsworth's delayed plunge i n t o d e s p a i r  the French R e v o l u t i o n , Walcott fragmentation  experiences  after  this  and s e p a r a t i o n c o n t i n u o u s l y , even throughout  the most j o y f u l episodes  of h i s youth;  i t i s e x e m p l i f i e d by  h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with Gregorias and Anna. With h i s best f r i e n d and f e l l o w p a i n t i n g student, G r e g o r i a s , the young poet shares a commitment t o "never leave the i s l a n d / u n t i l we had put down, i n p a i n t , i n words . . . a l l of i t s sunken, leaf-choked r a v i n e s . . . " Yet t h i s f r i e n d s h i p which b o l s t e r s Walcott's makes him more aware of h i s own Walcott  (194).  commitment a l s o  internal division.  For  d e s p e r a t e l y wished t o p a i n t but had t o admit t h a t "I  43 lived in a different  gift,  / i t s element metaphor, / w h i l e  G r e g o r i a s would draw with the l i n e a r e l a t i o n (201).  of an e e l "  G r e g o r i a s i s a s s o c i a t e d with the Black-ness and  f o l k / o r a l , w i t h Walcott's own  African heritage.  i s a focus on h i s "black nudes gleaming  Thus t h e r e  sweat, / i n the  t i g e r shade of the f r o n d s " as w e l l as on the cherubim he renders "brown-bottomed" (203). "grotesque,"  the  which  Although h i s work i s  i t i s "whole" (201), and he "possess[es] /  aboriginal force"  (201).  Walcott c l e a r l y admires both h i s f r i e n d ' s a r t , and h i s a b i l i t y t o "abandon[] a p p r e n t i c e s h i p / t o the e r r o r s of h i s own  soul"  (201).  He f i n d s h i m s e l f i n c a p a b l e of  such  s p o n t a n e i t y , separated from t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y by h i s E u r o p e a n - c o l o n i a l education: style,  "my  hand was  crabbed  / t h i s epoch, / t h a t s c h o o l / or the next"  by t h a t (201).  While G r e g o r i a s i s "bent t o h i s handful of e a r t h " (203) inspiration,  for  Walcott pores over books of r e p r o d u c t i o n s i n  his father's l i b r a r y .  1 6  The chapters which c e l e b r a t e  d i v i n e G r e g o r i a s / imprisoned  i n h i s c h o i c e " (208)  "mad,  (lines  which suggest t h a t the d i v i s i o n cannot be r e s o l v e d s i m p l i s t i c a l l y , t h a t G r e g o r i a s ' c h o i c e a l s o comes a t a cost) c l o s e p a i n f u l l y w i t h the image of a " t h i n , (209) and  / tortured  child"  l i s t e n i n g t o the sea v o i c e of h i s b l a c k g r a n d f a t h e r  l o o k i n g i n the sea-wrack f o r the f a c e of h i s white  grandfather. Similarly,  the poet's f i r s t  love i s marked by  internal  V  44 c o n f l i c t s ; these c o n f l i c t s l i n e up an i d e a l i z i n g and c o u r t l y l o v e a s s o c i a t e d with whiteness a g a i n s t s e x u a l f e e l i n g s which are a s s o c i a t e d with blackness. l i g h t , golden, and s u n - l i k e .  Anna i s always d e s c r i b e d as She i s a European  Anna, drawn  from l i t e r a t u r e and a r t , an "Anna of t h e w h e a t f i e l d and t h e weir  . . . of t h e s o l i d winter r a i n  p l a t f o r m and the c o l d t r a i n . "  . . . of t h e smoky  She i s " a l l Annas, enduring  a l l goodbyes . . . C h r i s t i e , Karenina, big-boned and passive"  (238).  Anna r e p l y i n g ,  Although the mature poet can now imagine "I am simple, I was s i m p l e r then"  (242),  the  younger poet's i m a g i n a t i o n transformed Anna so t h a t she "became, i n f a c t , another country" (238) i n response t o h i s need.  As such, she p r o v i d e d the i d e a l i z e d , c r e a t e d woman o f  the s u n l i g h t who countered t h e young man's baser fascinations.  The c o n t r a s t she p r o v i d e s i s c l e a r e s t i n t h e  f o l l o w i n g l i n e s which a r e s e t apart from, but immediately f o l l o w , l i n e s i n which t h e words " l e c h e r y " o r " l e c h e r o u s " o c c u r s f o u r times i n nine l i n e s , a s s o c i a t i n g t h a t  lechery  w i t h women of c o l o u r , both "the Indian woman you f i n g e r poked i n t h e doorway" and the . . . Negro whore on the drawing-room f l o o r under t h e s i l e n t p o r t r a i t s of your p a r e n t s , w h i l e Anna s l e p t , her golden body l i k e a lamp blown out. (228) The young poet's sexual g u i l t here i s c l e a r l y with r a c i a l g u i l t .  1 7  associated  H i s sexual a t t r a c t i o n t o women who,  l i k e him,  are  white/golden  (of colour) i s s i n f u l " l e c h e r y " ; t o t h i s , Anna can only be the v i r g i n a l a n t i d o t e .  C l e a r l y then, although Walcott does d e s c r i b e episodes  the  joyous  i n h i s youth, h i s e a r l y memories do not a f f o r d  the same nourishment t h a t Wordsworth's do.  him  Wordsworth's  r e c o l l e c t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s "spots i n time," not only p r o v i d e c o n t i n u i t y between h i s c h i l d h o o d and h i s mature s e l f but a l s o l e a d him back towards i n t e g r i t y .  Since  Walcott's  c h i l d h o o d a l r e a d y encompassed d i v i s i o n , t h e r e i s no i n t e g r i t y t o which he can r e t u r n .  By m o d i f y i n g  such  this  i n h e r i t a n c e of an i n s i s t e n c e on c h i l d h o o d as an unblemished, happy time, Walcott has broadened the d i s c o u r s e , not o n l y a r t i c u l a t i n g h i s own paving the way  p o s t - c o l o n i a l r e a l i t y but a l s o perhaps  f o r such r e c e n t works as Jamaica K i n c a i d ' s  The Autobiography  of My Mother,  18  which even more  vehemently denies the p o s s i b i l i t y of s e e i n g Eden i n a Caribbean  childhood.  The Prelude r e p r e s e n t s an i n h e r i t e d paradox which Walcott  accepts but q u e s t i o n s ; the paradox i s t h a t the  d i v i d e d s e l f which the poet laments a l s o p r o v i d e s him  with  both the m a t e r i a l f o r h i s poem and an o p p o r t u n i t y t o c r e a t e an i n t e g r a t e d s e l f i n w r i t i n g .  T h i s i s s i m i l a r t o the  r e l a t i o n s h i p between d i v i s i o n and  i n t e g r a t i o n i n the  Romantic p h i l o s o p h y which so h e a v i l y i n f l u e n c e d The A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s philosophy, as M.H. initial,  two-dimensional  Prelude.  Abrams p o i n t s out,  f i s s i o n between mind and  the  outer  46  nature, and  between the mind and  i t s own  natural  impulses, although i t i s i n i t s e l f an e v i l ,  i s the  a c t which r e l e a s e s the energy t h a t s e t s i n motion s p e c u l a t i v e philosophy  whose b a s i c aim  i n a r e s t o r e d and  and  enduring u n i t y .  (18 2)  Abrams goes on t o p o i n t out t h a t Romantic p h i l o s o p h y  is  " p r i m a r i l y a metaphysics of i n t e g r a t i o n , of which the p r i n c i p l e i s t h a t of the  'reconciliation,  whatever i s d i v i d e d , opposed, and Without the d i v i s i o n ,  1  the  . . . i s to  c a n c e l a l l c o g n i t i v e and moral s e p a r a t i o n opposition  very  key  or s y n t h e s i s ,  conflicting"  of  (182).  i n other words, t h e r e would be no need  or, perhaps more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , no o p p o r t u n i t y  for  integration. Not  o n l y does the d i v i s i o n provide  and momentum f o r the poem, but  of a p a s t s e l f and  matter  i n each case, i t a l l o w s  w r i t e r t o c r e a t e an i n t e g r a t e d s e l f , both poets n e g o t i a t e  the s u b j e c t  i f o n l y on paper.  the Thus  a c o n t i n u a l exchange between memories  commentary by the a d u l t w r i t e r ,  i n s c r i b i n g f o r themselves and  f o r t h e i r audience  autobiography whose apparent mimesis has h e a l i n g integrating potential.  and  While Wordsworth i s a t b e s t  c o n s c i o u s about t h i s w r i t i n g towards i n t e g r a t i o n , i s openly s c o r n f u l both of h i s own a l i e n a t i o n i t causes and  an  1 9  Walcott  c o m p l i c i t y i n the  of the p o s s i b i l i t y of  self-  further  final  resolution. For w r i t i n g an i n t e g r a t e d l i f e means another d i v i s i o n ,  47 t h i s time not only between a r t ' s formal requirements  and a  demand f o r a c c u r a t e mimesis, but a l s o between the a b i l i t y t o r e c o r d o b j e c t i v e l y and the d e s i r e t o l i v e  subjectively.  G a y a t r i Spivak has w r i t t e n about Wordsworth's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of  gender/sexual  i s s u e s and the h i s t o r i c a l Wordsworth's  p o s s i b l e experience with these i s s u e s , p o i n t i n g out h i s effacement its  of h i s r e a l - l i f e romance with Annette V a l l o n and  replacement  by the Vaudracoeur s t o r y .  2 0  Throughout  The  P r e l u d e , the d i s t a n c e between experienced or " r e a l " l i f e a r t ' s c r e a t e d v e r s i o n of t h a t l i f e  and  i s perhaps most  n o t i c e a b l e i n the poem's gaps and s i l e n c e s .  Walcott more  d i r e c t l y addresses the d i s t i n c t i o n ; he says he " f e l l i n l o v e w i t h a r t , / and l i f e began" (186).  Although t h i s q u o t a t i o n  i m p l i e s t h a t l i f e does not e x i s t f o r him without a r t , Walcott suggests throughout o f t e n a t the expense of  that h i s dedication to a r t i s  life.  The d i s t a n c e Walcott's a r t i s t i c ego h i m s e l f and h i s l i f e Anna.  imposes between  i s evident i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  H i s e a r l y love f o r her i s i n t r o d u c e d  immediately  a f t e r the c r e e d - l i k e stanza of c o n s e c r a t i o n t o a r t i n Chapter  7, which ends with the above q u o t a t i o n c o u n t e r p o s i n g  art  life.  and  In h i s responses t o Anna, the young a r t i s t i s  i n v a r i a b l y t o r n between these two.  He d e s c r i b e s Anna i n  terms of a r t , "her golden p l a i t s a simple coronet / out of Angelico"  (187), and d e s c r i b e s h i s hand as " t r e m b l i n g t o  r e c i t e her name" (187).  As he now  r e c o g n i z e s , " [ t ] h e hand  48 she  held already  had betrayed / them by i t s l o n g i n g f o r  d e s c r i b i n g h e r " (236). While Walcott c a s t i g a t e s himself  f o r h i s n e g a t i o n of  the r e a l Anna i n favour of the one he c r e a t e s / i n s c r i b e s , h i s most p a i n f u l s e l f - i n d i c t m e n t the  i s found i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of  s u i c i d e of h i s mentor, Harry Simmons.  his g i f t  A f t e r musing on  i n r e l a t i o n t o those of G r e g o r i a s and Simmons, he  asks h i s master and f r i e n d f o r f o r g i v e n e s s : Forgive  me,  i f t h i s sketch should ever t h r i v e ,  or p r o f i t from your g e n t l e ,  generous  spirit.  When I began t h i s work, you were a l i v e , and  w i t h one stroke,  you have completed i t ! (282)  The language here i s very concerned w i t h a r t as w i l l f u l c r e a t i o n ; the nouns are a l s o p o t e n t i a l l y a c t i v e v e r b s — " s k e t c h , " "work," "stroke". which equates the p a i n t e r ' s the  strong  And the h o r r i b l e pun  stroke with the r a z o r ' s  forces  e q u a l l y h o r r i b l e , p a i n f u l l y honest r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the  poet b e n e f i t s from Simmons' s u i c i d e because i t so p e r f e c t l y completes h i s poem. Yet  although Walcott r e a l i z e s h i s own c o m p l i c i t y  in art  which perpetuates as much as or more than i t h e a l s d i v i s i o n , he has few a l t e r n a t i v e s and must accept t h i s which Wordsworth o f f e r s . to write  L i k e Wordsworth, he w i l l  attempt  towards i n t e g r a t i o n and, l i k e Wordsworth, he w i l l  do t h i s by r a t h e r and  inheritance  s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y s i g n a l l i n g an i n s c r i b i n g  an i n s c r i b e d s e l f , and by l i n k i n g these r e s p e c t i v e l y , t o  49 the a d u l t w r i t e r and h i s younger c o u n t e r p a r t . Wordsworth's f i r s t book, with i t s address  to Coleridge  about t h e nature of h i s present t a s k and i t s i n v o c a t i o n s t o the muse which i s Nature, i s c l e a r l y w r i t t e n t o f o c u s a t t e n t i o n on t h e w r i t i n g s e l f .  He speaks o f t h e "months t o  come [ i n which he] / May d e d i c a t e (1:33-4).  [ h i m ] s e l f t o chosen t a s k s "  Wordsworth's s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n e s s c o n c e r n i n g h i s  task i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o h i s f a s c i n a t i o n with the layers of c h r o n o l o g i c a l s e l v e s . first  He i n t e r r u p t s h i m s e l f a f t e r h i s  54 l i n e s t o p o i n t out t h a t "Thus f a r , 0 F r i e n d ! d i d I,  not used t o make / A present j o y the matter of my Song, / Pour out, t h a t day, my s o u l i n measured s t r a i n s ,  / Even i n  the v e r y words which I have here / Recorded" (1:55-59, my emphasis).  A d i s t i n c t i o n i s drawn between a f a i r l y  r e c o r d i n g and an e a r l i e r outpouring  recent  of song (the s p o n t a n e i t y  of which i s c u r i o u s l y modified by i t s "measured s t r a i n s " ) . As r e a d e r s ,  we seem t o be c o n s i d e r i n g t h r e e c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y  d i s t i n c t a c t i o n s and/or s e l v e s : the speaker i n t h e n a r r a t i v e present,  t h e r e c o r d e r i n a r e c e n t past, and t h e " s i n g e r " who  poured out h i s j o y i n an even e a r l i e r p a s t . Walcott  f i n d s t h i s a u s e f u l model.  H i s opening a l s o  draws a t t e n t i o n t o the e f f o r t s of the present here a g a i n "  self—"I  begin  (145) and p l a c e s t h a t s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o  passing t i m e —  t h e moon's f i l a m e n t s w a n i n g — b u t a g a i n s t a  backdrop o f a p a s t a c t i o n , t h a t of the absent  master who has  opened and then abandoned the pages of t h e book which i s t h e  50 sea.  Although he begins i n t w i l i g h t i n the p r e s e n t tense,  the t w i l i g h t he d e s c r i b e s i s marked by i t s use o f verbs i n the p a s t tense: lowered  "when a g l a r e / which h e l d a c r y o f bugles  / t h e coconut  lances of the i n l e t ,  / as a sun, t i r e d  of empire, d e c l i n e d . / I t mesmerized l i k e f i r e without wind, / and as i t s amber climbed...the light"  (145, my emphasis).  sky / grew drunk w i t h  T h i s o v e r l a p p i n g o f t h e p a s t and  h i s p r e s e n t i s as much a c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of Another L i f e as it  i s of The Prelude, as each poet t r i e s t o understand and  a r t i c u l a t e h i s present by probing e a r l i e r e x p e r i e n c e s and expectations. While Wordsworth, through c h i l d h o o d memories, p a r t i c u l a r l y the p o w e r f u l l y shaping "spots i n time", i s f i n a l l y a b l e t o a s s e r t a renewed i n t e g r i t y , Walcott a b l e t o understand  i s only  and a r t i c u l a t e h i s d i v i s i o n , and t o r e -  commit h i m s e l f r e s i g n e d l y t o the task of changing c o n d i t i o n s which p r e d i c a t e d i t .  I f any redemption  those from t h e  f a l l e n s t a t e i s p o s s i b l e , i t w i l l be achieved through t h e a c t o f naming.  Where Wordsworth t u r n s t o h i s c h i l d h o o d t o  f i n d solace f o r h i s adult s e l f , inscribing,  i t i s Walcott's a d u l t ,  s e l f who r e - w r i t e s h i s p a s t f o r t h e h u r t  he c a r r i e s w i t h i n .  child  T h i s a d u l t , f o r example, b r i d g e s t h e  c h i l d ' s d i v i s i o n between the o r a l d a i l y s t r e e t / f o l k l i f e and the l i t e r a r y s t o r i e s of the classroom by composing a Homeric abecedary  which a s s e r t s an "alphabet o f t h e emaciated" as  the " s t a r s o f my mythology"  (164).  51 Walcott a s s e r t s h i s own d i v i s i o n , acknowledging t h e p a i n i t has brought him, but without the need o r t h e a b i l i t y t o overcome i t .  Perhaps t h i s i s because he has more openly  accepted h i s own c o m p l i c i t y i n t h i s p a i n by acknowledging the p a r t i t p l a y s i n h i s w r i t i n g .  And perhaps because the  primary response he makes t o i t i s even more w r i t i n g which will  i n e v i t a b l y cause more a l i e n a t i o n — b o t h  because i t  h o l d s him back, observing, from o t h e r s , and because i t causes him t o judge h i s own work, which i s a l s o a p a r t o f himself. Wordsworth, through h i s "spots i n time," i s f i n a l l y l e d back t o the u n i t y d e s c r i b e d i n the Mt. Snowdon passage. Walcott p a r a l l e l s t h i s i n a moment of s i m i l a r l y a p o c a l y p t i c r e v e l a t i o n which he experiences as a youth, and r e i n t e r p r e t s as an a d u l t .  At f o u r t e e n he " l o s t  somewhere above a v a l l e y " .  [his] s e l f  With a r e v e r s a l of c l o u d s and  sea very s i m i l a r t o Wordsworth's experience on Mt. Snowdon, the young boy "drowned i n l a b o u r i n g breakers o f b r i g h t c l o u d , / then u n c o n t r o l l a b l y . . . began t o weep . . . w i t h a serene e x t i n c t i o n of a l l sense everything"  (185).  . . . f o r n o t h i n g and f o r  Thus the s e l f seems t o d i s s o l v e i n t o a  u n i t y which, again, p a r a l l e l s Wordsworth's Mt. Snowdon epiphany.  But when the poet t r i e s as an a d u l t t o understand  t h i s weeping submission, he a s s o c i a t e s h i m s e l f w i t h doubleness  r a t h e r than with u n i t y :  my s i g n was Janus,  / I  saw w i t h twin heads, / and e v e r y t h i n g I say i s c o n t r a d i c t e d "  52 (281) . He a l s o a s s o c i a t e s h i m s e l f w i t h t h e f e m i n i n e which might be h i s o p p o s i t e but which i s a l s o an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f his self:  " I k n e l t because I was my mother" (281).  This  t u r n i n g t o t h e feminine f o r c o n s o l a t i o n and f o r b a l a n c e i s a l s o a s s e r t e d i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h his wife: I have married one whose darkness  i s a tree,  bayed i n whose arms I b r i n g my s t i f l e d howl, l o v e and f o r g i v e me! Who h o l d s my f e a r s a t dusk l i k e b i r d s which take the l o s t or moonlit c o l o u r of her l e a v e s , i n whom our c h i l d r e n and the c h i l d r e n of f r i e n d s  settle  simply, l i k e rhymes, i n whose s i d e , i n the grim times when I cannot see l i g h t f o r the deep l e a v e s , s h a r i n g her depth, the whole l e e ocean g r i e v e s . (282) He l a t e r c l a i m s t h a t he can walk beside "the t i r e l e s s anger of the waters  hoarse  . . . a renewed, exhausted man, /  balanced a t i t s edge by the weight of two dear  daughters"  (289). The s e x i s t e s s e n t i a l i s m of such l i n e s i s t r o u b l i n g ; n e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e r e i s a p o s i t i v e movement here  from  Wordsworth's effacement of t h e sexual t o W a l c o t t ' s model of s e x u a l union and/or h y b r i d i t y o f f e r i n g t h e p o t e n t i a l t o h e a l division.  53 F i n a l l y , though, d e s p i t e the h e a l i n g and f o r g i v e n e s s p r o v i d e d by h i s w i f e and the renewal and balance o f f e r e d by h i s daughters, Walcott remains d i v i d e d . who  U n l i k e Wordsworth  c l o s e s w i t h a commitment t o f u t u r e a c t i o n , a commitment  which j o i n s him t o C o l e r i d g e , i n t e g r a t i n g a p o t e n t i a l l y second s e l f , Walcott looks back t o a time when he a l s o such a commitment.  felt  He a l s o addresses a p o t e n t i a l a l t e r  ego,  and d i v i d e s t h a t f e l l o w a r t i s t f u r t h e r under h i s two names: "Gregorias, A p i l o ! "  (294); the f i r s t the " a r t y " Greek name  w i t h which he has i d e a l i s e d him; and the second h i s common name, the nickname of h i s c h i l d h o o d f r i e n d . Rather than exhort h i s f r i e n d t o j o i n him i n a commitment t o a f u t u r e task, he i s d i v i d e d from a time when they shared such a commitment, a time when they "were the l i g h t of the world!" and "were b l e s t of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r names" (294).  . . . w i t h Adam's t a s k Although he  e a r l i e r l i k e n e d G r e g o r i a s t o the sun, he now w i t h h i s "crude wooden s t a r "  has  a s s o c i a t e s him  (294), a t r a n s i t i o n which  links  him w i t h the t w i l i g h t mood of the poem's opening. S i m i l a r l y , e a r l i e r i n the t h i r d s e c t i o n of t h i s  final  chapter, he r e t u r n s again t o " o l d verandahs" and t o a "book l e f t open by an absent master"  (292).  which s e p a r a t e s him from "another l i f e "  The g u l f or d i v i s i o n i n which he  and  G r e g o r i a s shared so much hope w i l l not be overcome.  He  will  not a c h i e v e the f i n a l i n t e g r i t y which Wordsworth c l a i m s . Rather, h i s only hope i s t o move forward r e s i g n e d l y t o take  54 the  only a c t i o n p o s s i b l e , t h a t of c r e a t i n g y e t another  through the w r i t i n g a c t i o n which i s the poem: t h a t "beginning a g a i n . "  of  life  55 Chapter Three —  "Heroic  Argument"  Walcott's use of t h e e p i c form f o r h i s "growth o f t h e poet's mind" o b v i o u s l y well,  r e c a l l s Wordsworth's P r e l u d e ;  i t p o i n t s t o an e n t i r e t r a d i t i o n o f t h e e p i c  as  within  Western l i t e r a t u r e , and a l s o , because of t h e e p i c ' s  original  a s s o c i a t i o n with t r a n s m i t t i n g h i s t o r y , t o t h e Western discourse  of h i s t o r y i t s e l f .  In t h e a l l u s i o n s made t o The  P r e l u d e by t h e form of Another L i f e , Walcott acknowledges the  i n s p i r a t i o n he has drawn from Western  literature,  c l a i m i n g h i s i n h e r i t a n c e by demonstrating h i s s k i l l of i t s most e x a l t e d genres.  At the same time, he m o d i f i e s  Wordsworth's somewhat subversive  use o f t h e e p i c f o r  autobiography by i n t e r r o g a t i n g and s u b v e r t i n g himself.  i n one  that  tradition  Through such m o d i f i c a t i o n , as w e l l as i n h i s  echoing o f and d e v i a t i o n from Wordsworth's n a r r a t i v e patterns  and s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e s , he i n s c r i b e s t h e  p o s t c o l o n i a l r e a l i t i e s p r e v i o u s l y excluded from t h e e p i c form.  He n a r r a t e s  a l i f e s i m i l a r t o Wordsworth's i n i t s  y o u t h f u l optimism and eventual  d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , but eschews  Wordsworth's f i n a l redemptive r e s o l u t i o n i n d e f e r e n c e t o t h e Caribbean's l a c k of " h i s t o r y " which must condemn him t o a perpetual  "beginning again."  Another L i f e ' s most obvious  a l l u s i o n t o The Prelude i s made i n i t s form: autobiography w i t h e p i c q u a l i t i e s .  verse  This i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y  demands t h a t The Prelude be considered  not o n l y as The  56 Prelude.  but a l s o as a s i g n i f i e r f o r a whole t r a d i t i o n o f  Western w r i t i n g . intended  Although Wordsworth may o r i g i n a l l y have  h i s poem only as a prelude,  a s o r t of t r y i n g ground  of h i s s k i l l s f o r the task of w r i t i n g a t r u e e p i c , i t i s now recognized  as being  "a poem i n a r e c o g n i z a b l y  epic  style"  even by those c r i t i c s who f e e l t h a t i t f a i l s as an e p i c (Lord 7 ) . As " r e c o g n i z a b l y  epic,"  the poem c a r r i e s t h e  weight o f Western l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , w i t h a l i n e t r a c e a b l e from C l a s s i c a l , B i b l i c a l ,  clearly  and O l d E n g l i s h  epics  through Dante, Spenser, and, e s p e c i a l l y , M i l t o n . Paul Merchant c a l l s The Prelude an " e a r l y autobiographical  epic."  2 1  He g i v e s reasons f o r f i n d i n g t h e  poem " q u i t e o v e r t l y , an e p i c , " c i t i n g s e v e r a l a s p e c t s o f t h e poem which most c l e a r l y s i t u a t e i t w i t h i n t h i s  tradition.  He f i n d s s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r example, t h a t " [ t ] h e Muse, o r i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the work, i s introduced  i n the f i f t h  as a 'welcome F r i e n d ' : he i s C o l e r i d g e ,  t o whom t h e poem i s  addressed" has  line,  (84). Merchant p o i n t s out t h a t t h e poem "thus  the c h a r a c t e r  of a number of o r a l t a l e s t o l d t o t h i s  f r i e n d , t a l e s which d e s c r i b e t o him i n d e t a i l t h e speaker's p o e t i c and s p i r i t u a l development" (84), and a l s o notes "the poet's h a b i t of i n t r o d u c i n g s o l i t a r y f i g u r e s " which, "together  with the many f i n e s i m i l i e s  the d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r  . . . lends t h e poem  of an e p i c " (85).  Merchant f u r t h e r s t a t e s t h a t "Wordsworth b u i l t up h i s own mythology o f experience" through "a long s e r i e s o f  57  deeply f e l t v i s u a l i n c i d e n t s . "  He d e s c r i b e s  the  "creation  of the complete poem from t h i s p a t t e r n of i n t e r r e l a t e d i n c i d e n t s " as a "labour  of great  imaginative  skill,"  and  a s s e r t s t h a t " i t i s d u r i n g the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the work t h a t the e p i c , r a t h e r than the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l (86).  novel,  i s formed"  Merchant's comments demonstrate both t h a t  Wordsworth's poem i s d i f f e r e n t enough from the  traditional  e p i c t h a t l a b e l i n g i t as such r e q u i r e s some defence,  and  a l s o t h a t the genre i s f l e x i b l e enough t o accommodate modifications.  Besides the q u a l i t i e s which Merchant  suggests mark The be,  i f not  Prelude as e p i c , an e p i c must n e c e s s a r i l y  long, at l e a s t " l a r g e i n s c a l e " (Merchant 4 ) .  Merchant sketches out two e x p e r i e n c e s may "surpassing history"  poles w i t h i n which e p i c  be p l a c e d by u s i n g two  borrowed p h r a s e s :  the dimensions of r e a l i s m " and  (1).  "including  He demonstrates the f l u i d i t y of the  between these two  poles by t r a c i n g i t s development from  Homeric e p i c s , n o t i n g such m o d i f i c a t i o n s  2 2  and  Lost.  Wordsworth demonstrates h i s awareness both of f l u i d i t y of the genre and  the  of the need t o argue f o r h i s  w i t h i n i t through h i s r e f e r e n c e s Abrams and  the  as those made by  Dante i n h i s Commedia. Chaucer i n Canterbury T a l e s M i l t o n i n Paradise  genre  to M i l t o n .  Both  place  M.H.  Herbert Lindenberger c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o  Wordsworth's c l a i m t h a t " [ T ] h i s i s i n t r u t h , h e r o i c argument," a l i n e i n which, as Abrams s t a t e s , "Wordsworth  58 echoes, i n order t o supersede" M i l t o n ' s  claim that h i s  B i b l i c a l s u b j e c t matter i s as h e r o i c as t h e more t r a d i t i o n a l C l a s s i c a l m a t e r i a l of e p i c s  (29).  And as Lindenberger  says,  through t h i s echoing, Wordsworth not o n l y p o i n t s up t h e e p i c impulse behind t h e poem, but c a l l s on M i l t o n ' s precedent i n j u s t i f y i n g new areas worthy of e p i c : M i l t o n must defend h i m s e l f  for i f  f o r w r i t i n g an e p i c  about man's moral r a t h e r than h i s m i l i t a r y h i s t o r y , Wordsworth i n t u r n claims t o f i n d  heroic  argument i n man's (and, indeed, i n one man's) personal  h i s t o r y . (12)  Thus Wordsworth c a r r i e s on not only t h e e p i c  tradition  i t s e l f but a l s o c a r r i e s on the t r a d i t i o n of i t s modification. At t h e most obvious l e v e l of form, Another L i f e i s epic:  i t i s over 150 pages long, and d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r  s e c t i o n s o r books which a r e f u r t h e r s u b d i v i d e d chapters,  into  a d i v i s i o n which not only emphasizes s i z e , but  a l s o t h a t t h e e p i c i s a book, a m a t e r i a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n l i t e r a r y culture. s e c t i o n s and eleven reference books 1805  23  of a  With twelve chapters i n t h e f i r s t two i n the l a s t two, t h e r e  i s also a subtle  t o t h e e p i c ' s t r a d i t i o n a l d i v i s i o n i n t o twelve  (Wordsworth m o d i f i e d  t h i s t r a d i t i o n as w e l l :  Prelude has t h i r t e e n books).  the  Although o r i g i n a l l y an  o r a l form, the e p i c s we know a r e s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d  with  59 books, p a r t o f a European w r i t t e n over the o r a l .  t r a d i t i o n which p r i v i l e g e s t h e  Walcott's task throughout  i s to  q u e s t i o n t h i s p r i v i l e g i n g even as he i n d u l g e s h i s w r i t e r l y s e l f by i n s c r i b i n g the o r a l .  Using the e p i c form i s a  powerful way of foregrounding t h i s c o n t e s t between "the book" and the o r a l , and of reminding the European  that  this  p r i v i l e g e d l i t e r a r y form i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o o r a l i t y . In in  t h i s context, Walcott's double mention  of a "book"  t h e poem's opening stanza suggests a s u b v e r s i o n o f t h e  e p i c poet's i n v o c a t i o n of a muse.  Where Wordsworth invokes  both t h e b l e s s i n g of the g e n t l e breeze and a f e l l o w poet, Coleridge,  Walcott t u r n s t o "the book."  But i t i s a book  which has been abandoned, as have the poet and t h e Caribbean, by "an absent master life"  / i n the middle of another  (145), with the suggestion, through the f o l l o w i n g  l i n e s , of the other l i f e  being B r i t i s h l i f e ,  life  i n the  l i t e r a r y canon which does not care t o r e c o r d the Caribbean. It  i s a l s o t h e o n l y book which has i n c l u d e d t h e Caribbean:  "the pages o f the sea" which h o l d the r e c o r d of t h e h i s t o r y of  s l a v e r y and c o l o n i a l i s m .  Other books, those which more  c l e a r l y r e p r e s e n t the t r a d i t i o n a l muse of l i t e r a t u r e ,  will  be o f l i t t l e use t o Walcott as a poet t r y i n g t o w r i t e a Caribbean It  reality.  i s t o the books of the canon, those which have  i n s p i r e d y e t excluded him, t h a t Walcott now w r i t e s back, and it  i s i n t o the dominant l i t e r a r y d i s c o u r s e t h a t he attempts  60 t o i n s c r i b e h i s own  p o s t - c o l o n i a l , Caribbean r e a l i t y .  The  e p i c s whose form he i m i t a t e s / r e c a l l s have always r e p r e s e n t e d t h a t which the c o l o n i a l master i n s i s t e d the Caribbean not b e — h e r o i c and h i s t o r i c .  But j u s t as Wordsworth moved  i n t o a space prepared by Dante own  could  24  and M i l t o n t o a s s e r t h i s  p o e t i c development as worthy of the e p i c form, Walcott  s i m i l a r l y extends Caribbean,  the use of the form t o i n c l u d e the  i n s c r i b i n g i t as h i s t o r i c while he  simultaneously  q u e s t i o n s the meaning and value of the t r a d i t i o n a l l y h e r o i c . Wordsworth's use of the e p i c form i s marked by s e v e r a l d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e s t o M i l t o n , the adoption of M i l t o n ' s blank v e r s e , and a s i m i l a r i t y of n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e .  Walcott  s i m i l a r l y r e f e r s t o h i s l i t e r a r y f o r e b e a r s by making numerous a l l u s i o n s t o Wordsworth and M i l t o n .  However,  W a l c o t t ' s most d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e s t o e a r l i e r e p i c s are those t o Homer, f o r whom h i s t o r y and the sea were a l s o intertwined. abecedary  For example, i n Chapter  closely  3 he w r i t e s an  of the l o c a l c h a r a c t e r s of h i s c h i l d h o o d i n  Homeric terms, d e s c r i b i n g the " s u r l y c h a u f f e u r C l a u z e l ' s garage [who]  from  bangs Troy's gate shut!"  (159).  Emanuel Auguste i s the "lone Odysseus, / t a t t o o e d exmerchant s a i l o r " complexioned  (160), while " J a n i e , the town's one  whore" with "her black / h a i r e l e c t r i c a l  a l l t h a t t r o u b l e over Troy" i s a p o t e n t i a l Helen  clear/ as  (161).  What these examples make c l e a r , however, i s t h a t although Walcott may  be r e - w r i t i n g Homer t o i n c l u d e h i s l o c a l  61 r e a l i t y , he does not always, heroic.  i n so doing, c l a i m the l o c a l  as  Rather, by i n s i s t i n g t h a t " [ t ] h e s e dead, t h e s e  derelicts,  / t h a t alphabet of the emaciated" were "the s t a r s  of my mythology"  (164), Walcott i s i r o n i c a l l y i n s c r i b i n g the  anti-epic. S i m i l a r l y , the sea voyages made by " C a p i t a i n e Foquarde" r e c a l l those of U l y s s e s , with whom he i s compared (173, 181).  directly  But here Penelope, h i s M a r t i n i q u a n w i f e , i s f a r  from f a i t h f u l d u r i n g h i s absences.  She blooms each time he  " u l y s s e e s , " laughing w h i l e she s t i t c h e s r i p p e d k n i c k e r s (the r i p p i n g and s t i t c h i n g a burlesque v e r s i o n of the Penelope's weaving and unweaving).  original  The voyages on the  "Jewel, a s i n g l e - s t a c k , d i e s e l , f o r t y - f o o t c o a s t a l [which] coughed l i k e a r e l i c out of Conrad" f a r from romantic.  vessel  are s i m i l a r l y  They i n v o l v e the twice-a-week l o a d i n g of  a "cargo of p i g s , c h a r c o a l , food, lumber, / s q u a b b l i n g or f r i g h t e n e d peasants, the odd p r i e s t , " and the  subsequent  d e l i v e r y of t h i s cargo by " t h r e a d i n g the i s l a n d ' s villages,  jettied  / Anse La Raye, Canaries, S o u f r i e r e ,  C h o i s e u l , / / a n d back" (174).  Again, r a t h e r than a s s e r t the  l i f e of the i s l a n d s as h e r o i c , Walcott draws a t t e n t i o n t o i t s d a i l y tawdriness; t h i s i n s c r i p t i o n of t a w d r i n e s s foregrounds the t r a d i t i o n a l e p i c ' s e x c l u s i o n of such r e a l i t i e s , prompting  a q u e s t i o n i n g of i t s c l a i m s t o a c c u r a t e  representation. The h i s t o r y of the t r a d i t i o n a l e p i c i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t  62 r e p r e s e n t e d by the l a r g e t a p e s t r y Walcott remembers from h i s schooldays, a c l a s s i c a l l y c h a o t i c canvas of s n o r t i n g , dappled  chargers  T h e i r r i d e r s were a l e g i o n of dragoons sabre-moustached, canted on s t i f f e n e d t h e i r arms crooked  rein,  i n a s c y t h i n g sweep,  v a u l t i n g a heap of dying, one  i n the stance of a r e c l i n i n g Venus,  as c a s u a l as G i o r g i o n e  the whole charge  l i k e a pukkha, without  blood  no mouth of p a i n , every c h i v a l r i c wound r o s e - l i p p e d , d a n d i a c a l , sweet, every s e l f - s a c r i f i c e perfumed  (210, my  emphasis)  W a l c o t t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the t a p e s t r y draws a t t e n t i o n , i n i t s r e f e r e n c e t o the C l a s s i c a l p e r i o d , the r e c l i n i n g Venus, and G i o r g i o n e , t o the r e n d e r i n g of h i s t o r y i n t o a r t u s u a l l y w i t h a consequent effacement chapter, Chapter  of blood and p a i n .  In t h i s  11, Walcott q u e s t i o n s other r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s  of h i s t o r y , p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s " r e d - j a c k e t e d W i l l i a m s o n ' s / H i s t o r y of the B r i t i s h Empire" (211), and juxtaposes " f i c t i o n / of r u s t e d s o l d i e r s f a l l e n on a schoolboy's  their page"  63 w i t h the f o r e s t which "keeps no wounds" (212).  He  suggests  t h a t what has been c o n s i d e r e d a h i s t o r y of e p i c heroism  can  a l s o be seen as a h i s t o r y of "ennui, defence, d i s e a s e " (212).  At the same time, he i m a g i n a t i v e l y r e c o n s t r u c t s the  l e a p of the C a r i b Indians t o demonstrate t h a t the  Caribbean  h i s t o r y which has been excluded from the t e x t s i s as h e r o i c as any European e p i c  (213-4).  Walcott f u r t h e r questions the t r a d i t i o n a l parameters of h i s t o r y by n o t i n g t h a t St. L u c i a i s f i n a l l y brought  i n t o the  scope of h i s t o r y by the f i r e which almost d e s t r o y s i t : "the t h i c k tongue of a f a l l e n , drunken lamp / l i c k e d a t i t s a l c o h o l r i n g i n g the f l o o r , furnace door / suddenly  / and with the f i e r c e r u s h of a  opened, h i s t o r y was  t h i s drama renders the Caribbean "[y]our ruined I l i o n "  here"  (221).  f i n a l l y somehow e p i c as  (226), Walcott i s again q u i c k t o  d e s c r i b e the tawdry r e a l i t y of t h i s d e s t r u c t i o n , the p e r v e r t e d bedsprings, h e a t - s t a i n e d mattresses, a l l of the melancholy, of those who  thought  monotonous r u b b i s h  t h e i r l i v e s strange t o t h e i r  neighbours, t h e i r s i n s repeated t i r e d l y by the same p i c t u r e - f r a m e s , papers, blue magnesia b o t t l e s  (225)  Once again, he moves t o i n s c r i b e the Caribbean r e a l i t y  as  e p i c , but a l s o suggests the p o t e n t i a l l y tawdry background e f f a c e d i n the t r a d i t i o n a l  epic.  The e p i c ' s power t o r e p r e s e n t and t o d e f i n e the human  If  64  c o n d i t i o n as w e l l as the power of the e p i c and t h e book t o shape, measure, and v a l i d a t e the p o s t - c o l o n i a l l i f e  isa  power Walcott wants not only t o q u e s t i o n but a l s o t o c l a i m . Yet  when he does so, r e n d e r i n q the o r a l and t h e  i m a g i n a t i v e l y r e c o n s t r u c t e d i n t o h i s own e p i c , he c a u t i o n s the  reader: P r o v i n c i a l i s m loves the pseudo-epic, so  i f these heroes have been g i v e n a s t a t u r e  d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e t o t h e i r cramped  lives,  remember I beheld them a t knee-height, and t h a t t h e i r thunderous  exchanges  rumbled l i k e gods about another l i f e , as now, I hope, some c h i l d a s c r i b e s t h e i r grandeur t o G r e g o r i a s . (183) T h i s ambivalence towards h i s own i n s c r i p t i o n i s perhaps W a l c o t t ' s most s u b v e r s i v e m o d i f i c a t i o n o f the e p i c .  While  M i l t o n a s s e r t s the h e r o i c , e p i c q u a l i t i e s of the saga of Man's s o u l , and Wordworth extends t h i s t o a d e p i c t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l l i f e as h e r o i c , Walcott q u e s t i o n s through h i s mimicry of the form whether all it.  i t c o n t a i n s any p o s s i b i l i t y a t  f o r t h e mimesis t h a t readers a r e so eager t o g r a n t 2 5  S i m i l a r l y , Walcott's e x t e n s i v e use of iambic pentameter throughout Another L i f e i s not simply a demonstration of h i s mastery o f a European form.  Rather, the poem's moves both  towards and away from the blank v e r s e a r e so c l o s e l y  linked,  65  through M i l t o n and then Wordsworth, with the E n g l i s h  epic,  t h a t they demonstrate  and  a t e n s i o n between the language  form of the m e t r o p o l i t a n power and t h a t of the Caribbean poet.  While c l e a r l y b u i l t on the framework of blank v e r s e  e p i c , Another L i f e e q u a l l y c l e a r l y s i g n a l s the inadequacy t h a t form t o support i t and, form t o s u i t i t s own  of  i n s t e a d , o f t e n m o d i f i e s the  needs.  The framework i s p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e a t b e g i n n i n g s and endings.  The f i r s t  l i n e of Another L i f e ,  i s w r i t t e n i n a rhythm s u g g e s t i v e of iambic With the e x c e p t i o n of the f i r s t the f i r s t  f o r example, pentameter.  l i n e of s e c t i o n IV, so are  and l a s t l i n e s of each s e c t i o n of the  first  c h a p t e r ; almost h a l f of poem's 2 3 chapters begin t h i s  way.  As w e l l , some of the most important l i n e s are w r i t t e n i n pentameter  which,  i f not always p e r f e c t l y iambic, i s  extremely c l o s e t o , or s u g g e s t i v e of t h a t rhythm.  For  example, t h e r e i s the Wordsworthian "spot i n time" which r e s u l t s i n the young poet's c o n s e c r a t i o n of h i s l i f e t o a r t : About the August I l o s t my  of my  f o u r t e e n t h year  s e l f somewhere above a v a l l e y  (184)  The poem's c e n t r a l theme i s d e c l a r e d i n t h i s rhythm: What e l s e was  he but a d i v i d e d c h i l d ?  (183)  and the major l o s s i t n a r r a t e s i s announced t h i s A sodden l e t t e r thunders i n my  an eaten l e t t e r crumbles  hand  i n my hand  (274)  way:  66 Walcott a l s o uses iambic pentameter when he d i s c u s s e s h i s t a s k as a poet, as i n t h e l i n e i n which he says t h a t he and G r e g o r i a s were charged w i t h Adam's t a s k of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r names (294). H i s d e s c r i p t i o n of a r t ' s attempt master l i f e ,  t o c o n t a i n , frame, and  as w e l l of h i s own a r t ' s b e t r a y a l of l o v e , i s  v e r y c u n n i n g l y o f f e r e d i n a sonnet: And which of them i n time would be betrayed was never questioned by t h a t p o e t r y which breathed w i t h i n t h e evening  naturally,  but by t h e noble t r e a c h e r y of a r t t h a t looks f o r f e a r when i t i s l e a s t  afraid,  t h a t c o l d l y takes the pulse-beat of t h e h e a r t i n happiness; t h a t p r a i s e d i t s need t o d i e t o t h e b r i g h t candour of the evening sky, t h a t p r e f e r r e d love t o i m m o r t a l i t y ; so every step i n c r e a s e d t h a t  subtlety  which hoped t h a t t h e i r two bodies c o u l d be made one body of immortal metaphor. The hand she h e l d a l r e a d y had betrayed them by i t s l o n g i n g f o r d e s c r i b i n g her. (236) Here Walcott adds t h e a d d i t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t o f rhyme t o those o f rhythm and meter. rhymes—a,b,c,d and e — b u t  He uses t h e c o n v e n t i o n o f f i v e deploys these i n an  u n c o n v e n t i o n a l manner, u n d e r l i n i n g h i s a b i l i t y t o work w i t h i n t h e l i m i t a t i o n s of the form w h i l e s u b v e r t i n g i t t o  67 his  own  ends.  As w e l l , the sonnet draws a t t e n t i o n t o  W a l c o t t ' s s k i l l with the l y r i c form, and foregrounds  the  t e n s i o n w i t h i n t h i s work ( s i m i l a r t o t h a t i n Wordsworth's) between i t s o f t e n l y r i c content and i t s e p i c i n t e n t i o n s  and  form. While Walcott o f t e n uses iambic pentameter t o p o i n t t o important l i n e s or c e n t r a l themes, he a l s o uses  the  d i s r u p t i o n of blank verse t o achieve the same end. S e c t i o n I I I of Chapter  In  11, f o r example, when Walcott  remembers the h i s t o r y he was  taught i n s c h o o l and  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y imagines a l t e r n a t i v e h i s t o r i e s , more than a t h i r d of the 27 l i n e s have t e n s y l l a b l e s ,  i f not  five  s t r e s s e s ; f i v e of these are near-iambic.  T h i s has a  c h a l l e n g i n g and a r r e s t i n g e f f e c t on the reader who s t r u g g l e both i n t o and a g a i n s t the rhythm.  must  In the f i r s t  s t a n z a which begins c o n v e r s a t i o n a l l y , "I saw h i s t o r y  through  the sea-washed eyes," i t puts the emphasis v e r y c l e a r l y "a l o n e l y Englishman  who  loved parades"  on  (212), thus r e d u c i n g  the " c h o l e r i c , g i n g e r - h a i r e d headmaster" t o a n o s t a l g i a evoking, s l i g h t l y i n e f f e c t u a l ,  f i g u r e and  immediately  diminishing h i s capacity to represent h i s t o r y .  The  last  two  l i n e s of t h i s stanza suggest the l i m i t a t i o n s of such systems of  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as the E n g l i s h d i s c o u r s e of h i s t o r y  and  iambic pentametric v e r s e . The next stanza begins i n an iambic pentameter which c o n t i n u e s t o q u e s t i o n the schoolroom's  nostalgic  dubious  68 r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of h i s t o r y : not our own."  "Nostalgia!  Hymns of b a t t l e s  The iambic pentameter i s used here t o  c o n t r a s t the w r i t t e n h i s t o r y which the boys must memorize w i t h the t r o p e of a r a c i a l h i s t o r y denied by the classroom: "those dates we piped of redoubt and r e p u l s e , / w h i l e i n our w r i s t s the k e t t l e drums p u l s e d on." The  l i n e s of  fairly  r e g u l a r metre and rhythm are i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h l o n g e r and shorter lines,  l i n e s which begin as iambic but  end  otherwise, or l i n e s l i k e the f i v e beginning "How said B i l l  ( C a r r ) , " which completely d i s r u p t any  pattern.  These l a s t f i v e l i n e s are then  strange," suggested  immediately  f o l l o w e d by a r e t u r n , f o r one l i n e , t o near-iambic pentameter which d e s c r i b e s the schoolroom h i s t o r y of ennui, defence, d i s e a s e . "  h i s t o r y as  The s t a n z a then  c o n t i n u e s w i t h a catalogue of images of the death  and  d i s e a s e which are the i n e v i t a b l e c o u n t e r p a r t of war. t h e r e are fragments  "A  Again,  i n iambic rhythm, but the l i n e which i s  c l o s e s t t o iambic pentameter p o i n t s t o the r i d i c u l o u s h e r a l d r y of war final  and heroism,  and leaves exposed the stanza's  l i n e with i t s r a t h e r p a t h e t i c a n t i - c l i m a x :  ' l i k e the white plumes of the F i g h t i n g F i f t h / who f e a t h e r without The  "fade, wore the  stain.'"  f i n a l stanza of t h i s s e c t i o n i s o n l y f o u r l i n e s  long, and i t forms a c o n t r a s t i n g image of heroism,  t h a t of  the C a r i b Indians jumping o f f the c l i f f s t o the r o c k s below i n the 1651  battle.  2 6  69  The l e a p i n g C a r i b s whiten, i n one f l a s h , the i n s t a n t the r a c e l e a p t at Sauteurs, a c a t a r a c t ! One  scream of bounding  lace.  Again Walcott p l a y s with the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and the l i m i t s of iambic pentameter.  A n a t u r a l r e a d i n g of the f i r s t  line  combines i t with the f i r s t t h r e e words of the second form a l i n e of iambic pentameter.  l i n e to  But the break the poet  has chosen puts the emphasis on the ending word, "whiten" w e l l as on the i l l u m i n a t e d moment which i s an concept of both h i s t o r y and p o e t r y .  I t also  as  important demonstrates  the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e - a r r a n g i n g , of r e a d i n g i n d i f f e r e n t ways, thus a l l o w i n g the reader i n t e r p r e t i v e engagement. final  l i n e , however, i s the l i n e which i s most c l e a r l y s e t  out t o approximate  iambic pentameter.  The d i s r u p t i o n of the  p a t t e r n here focuses the imagination on the "One which, lace"  The  scream,"  between the surrounding " c a t a r a c t " and the  "bounding  (a n i c e c o n t r a s t t o the "white plumes of the F i g h t i n g  Fifth"),  resounds as f i x e d , e t e r n a l , wordless, and  finally,  u n c o n t a i n a b l e i n the d i s c o u r s e of the blank v e r s e e p i c . J u s t as Walcott's use of the e p i c form a l l o w s him t o r e f e r t o , q u e s t i o n , and modify the d i s c o u r s e of Western l i t e r a t u r e and h i s t o r y , so too does h i s echoing of Wordsworth's n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s and s t r u c t u r i n g In  principles.  terms of n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s , t h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  n o t i c e a b l e i n Walcott's simultaneous adoption of and  70 d e v i a t i o n from Wordsworth's use o f the e p i s t o l a r y convention, the c o n f e s s i o n a l f i r s t - p e r s o n t o n e / v o i c e , as w e l l as Wordsworth's n e g o t i a t i o n between p a s t and p r e s e n t events.  These n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s i n both poems f o c u s on a  s t r u c t u r e whose ending u l t i m a t e l y c i r c l e s back t o i t s b e g i n n i n g , but while t h i s ending-beginning  situates  Wordsworth l o o k i n g forward, Walcott looks backward t o a l o s t optimism.  T h i s d e v i a t i o n r e f l e c t s the d i s t a n c e between  Wordsworth's Romantic r e - f a s h i o n i n g o f the B i b l i c a l and M i l t o n i c meta-narrative t o p r o v i d e the s t r u c t u r e f o r h i s life  story,  2 7  and the u n a v a i l a b i l i t y o f t h i s model t o a  p o s t - c o l o n i a l poet who was never a b l e t o b e l i e v e i n an Eden. Wordsworth's s t o r y i s one t o l d t o a c l o s e f r i e n d and f e l l o w a r t i s t who i s now absent and being addressed  from a  d i s t a n c e . I t i s a s e l e c t i v e r e t e l l i n g of a l i f e , one i n which Wordsworth's poet persona remains c l e a r l y i n charge o f the f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n .  Although t h e r e i s a continuous  n e g o t i a t i o n between past memories and p r e s e n t r e f l e c t i o n on those memories, the poet i s c l e a r l y s i t u a t e d from t h e b e g i n n i n g i n an u l t i m a t e l y forward-looking moment o f p r e s e n t v i c t o r y over past d i f f i c u l t i e s .  Walcott s i m i l a r l y  begins  i n t h e f i r s t person by addressing an i m p l i e d s i n g l e l i s t e n e r , and the reader does g a i n a sense throughout t h e poem t h a t t h i s l i s t e n e r must be Walcott's f e l l o w a r t i s t , Gregorias.  Thus the "There / was your heaven!" o f t h e  poem's f i r s t page must be addressed t o the same l i s t e n e r as  71 the "You  sometimes dance with t h a t d e s t r u c t i v e f r e n z y " of  i t s l a s t page. now  But i t i s much l e s s c l e a r where G r e g o r i a s i s  s i t u a t e d , not only i n the present p h y s i c a l world  a l s o i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the poet persona.  but  Further  c o n f u s i n g the q u e s t i o n i s the i n s t a b i l i t y throughout  of the  f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n , which switches s p o r a d i c a l l y t o a third-person narrative. addresses  As w e l l , the second-person  are made not only t o G r e g o r i a s , but a l s o t o the  poet's mother (Chapter 2), h i s grandfather first  (p. 209),  to h i s  l o v e , Anna (Chapter 15), and h i s mentor, Harry  (Chapters 18,  21).  And  t h e r e i s a l l of Book Two,  Simmons  the  "Homage t o G r e g o r i a s " which seems to speak about G r e g o r i a s t o a primary  audience which can only be the r e a d e r — a l l  t h i s i n e v i t a b l y has a r e t r o a c t i v e e f f e c t on the apostrophe,  not only r e n d e r i n g the addressee's  opening identity  u n c l e a r , but d e s t a b i l i z i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between and  of  speaker  listener/reader. S i m i l a r l y , while Wordsworth's r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the p a s t  keep the poem's n a r r a t o r f i r m l y s i t u a t e d i n the p r e s e n t , Walcott's  o f t e n merge past and present, or abandon the  p r e s e n t f o r the past.  In the d e s c r i p t i o n of the  c h i l d h o o d s e l f a t bedtime, f o r example, p a s t and  poet's present  tenses are combined so t h a t while the " c h i l d t e n t e d h i s c o t t o n n i g h t d r e s s " and h i s head," "[h]ands  " [ t ] w i l i g h t enshrined the l a n t e r n of  swing him heavenward," and a c a n d l e " r e -  l e t t e r s " the books by h i s bed  (158, my  emphasis).  72 These d e v i a t i o n s from Wordworth's n a r r a t i v e p a r a l l e l the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two to t h e i r structuring p r i n c i p l e s . his  on an o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e which allows stability.  "I-you"  so too does he  and  insist  reinforces that  T h i s s t r u c t u r e i s , of course,  grand n a r r a t i v e of Western d i s c o u r s e , of the Garden, the F a l l ,  a stable  a clearly differentiated  "now-then" r e l a t i o n s h i p with the past,  c o n t r o l and  poems i n r e s p e c t  J u s t as Wordsworth a s s e r t s  c o n t r o l of the n a r r a t i v e , m a i n t a i n i n g  r e l a t i o n s h i p with the reader and  patterns  the B i b l i c a l  the  structure  and the Redemption, adopted  by  Wordsworth's l i t e r a r y hero, M i l t o n , f o r h i s e p i c work, Paradise  Lost.  Wordsworth combines t h i s w i t h the  journey  t r o p e which r e i n f o r c e s both the l i n e a r i t y of h i s o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e , as w e l l as i t s p a r a d o x i c a l l y c i r c u l a r i t y — t h e way  simultaneous  i n which i t s beginning and  ending  somehow merge t o form a moment which n o n e t h e l e s s i n s i s t s  on  a l i n e a r i t y , p o i n t i n g t o the shared f u t u r e t a s k t o which Wordsworth and  C o l e r i d g e must d e d i c a t e  themselves.  Walcott adopts the c i r c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between b e g i n n i n g and  ending i n h i s poem, and he c e r t a i n l y r e f e r s  o f t e n t o the B i b l i c a l n a r r a t i v e .  As w e l l , the  continual  presence of the sea suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y of  journeys,  and  the poet does d e s c r i b e s e v e r a l which were s i g n i f i c a n t i n  his  life.  However, the overwhelming sense i n the poem i s  not of a forward progress away from the Garden, through Fall,  and  towards/into Redemption, but r a t h e r of  the  the  73 p e r e n n i a l need t o "begin again" with both Adamic e x u l t a t i o n and S i s y p h i a n r e s i g n a t i o n . The avowed task a t the beginning of the poem i s : "I b e g i n here a g a i n , " the work.  and t h i s i s a theme repeated  In the f i r s t  throughout  chapter's second s e c t i o n , f o r  example, Walcott quotes from a poem "Holy" by the poet, George Campbell.  T h i s poem, f i r s t  Jamaican  published i n  1945,  i s noted as "the beginning of the d i s t i n c t i v e West I n d i a n l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n i n which Walcott has been such a prominent  figure"  (Chamberlin 143).  "bound i n sea-green  linen," i t s colour c l e a r l y l i n k i n g i t s  s u g g e s t i o n t h a t "another l i f e (149), w i t h Walcott's own Another  Walcott reads the book  . . . would s t a r t a g a i n "  beginning a t the sea's edge.  beginning i s c i t e d when the young boy  w i t h a r t , and l i f e began" (186).  "fell  i n love  L a t e r , the poet hopes t o  "shake o f f the c e r e c l o t h s " of the p r i v i l e g e d European a r t of Hemingway and P i s a r r o .  A cleansing rain offers a  new  b e g i n n i n g i n which can be p r i v i l e g e d the " s m e l l of our speech,  own  / the s m e l l of baking bread, / of d r i z z l e d a s p h a l t ,  t h i s / odorous cedar" Another  (217).  important "beginning again" i s t h a t of C a s t r i e s  a f t e r the 1948  fire:  "the phoenix metaphor f l e w / from  tongue t o tongue" (246).  Gregorias must a l s o come c l o s e t o  d e s t r u c t i o n b e f o r e beginning again.  When he t e l l s  Walcott  about h i s f l i r t a t i o n with and r e j e c t i o n of s u i c i d e , i t becomes obvious t o the poet t h a t "Gregorias . . . had  74 e n t e r e d l i f e " (272).  But d e s p i t e the triumphant  a s s o c i a t i o n s of these new beginnings, Walcott f i n a l l y i s a b l e t o propose beginning again only as t h a t o f an a r t p e r p e t u a l l y compromised by i t s h i s t o r y , and which must u l t i m a t e l y be o b l i t e r a t e d by nature: they w i l l absolve us, perhaps,  i f we begin a g a i n ,  from what we have always known, nothing, from t h a t c a r n a l slime of the garden, from the i n c a r n a t e s u b t l e t y of the snake, from the Egyptian moment of the heron's f o o t on the mud's e n t a b l a t u r e , by t h i s augury of i b i s e s flying  a t evening from the m e l t i n g t r e e s ,  w h i l e the silver-hammered  charger of the marsh  b r i n g s towards us, again and again, i n beaten  light, scrolls,  nothing, then nothing, and then nothing.  (286-287)  28  L i k e t h e sun, with i t s "holy, r e p e t i t i v e  resurrection"  (288), the poet can only "repeat myself,  / p r a y e r , same  p r a y e r , towards f i r e ,  same f i r e "  (289).  T h i s i n s i s t e n c e on "beginning a g a i n " i s r e i n f o r c e d by the poem's s t r u c t u r e and by i t s n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s i n such a way t h a t t h e reader i s c o n s t a n t l y being f o r c e d t o r e - o r i e n t h e r s e l f and "begin again."  The f i r s t chapter, f o r example,  i s spoken by an " I " , who i s almost e f f a c e d by t h e end o f t h e first  section.  Although  subsequent r e a d i n g e s t a b l i s h e s "the  75 s t u d e n t " who i s d e s c r i b e d here as t h e poet  n  l'"s  younger  s e l f , t h i s i s not c l e a r on a f i r s t r e a d i n g , but r e q u i r e s a "beginning a g a i n . "  By the end of the chapter, we a r e a g a i n  being addressed by the poet who uses t h e f i r s t person, but the next chapter a p p r o p r i a t e s t h i s " I " f o r an i m a g i n a t i v e r e - v o i c i n g of t h e poet's mother's l i f e .  As soon as we  a d j u s t t o t h i s , t h e v o i c e i s again t h e poet's and "Maman" i s addressed  i n t h e second person, as i n "Maman, / you s a t  folded i n silence"  (153).  Such s h i f t s tend t o emphasize t h e  s e p a r a t i o n of t h e work i n t o s e c t i o n s ,  2 9  and f o r c e t h e  reader t o be aware of "beginning again" with each  such  section. T h i s i s a l s o the e f f e c t of Walcott's v a r i a t i o n i n s t y l e from s e c t i o n t o s e c t i o n and from chapter t o c h a p t e r . Whereas Wordsworth's pages a l l look very s i m i l a r w i t h  their  l i n e s of blank verse, Walcott combines v a r i o u s s t y l e s . abecedary  The  of l o c a l c h a r a c t e r s , f o r example, w i t h t h e f i r s t  word of each s e c t i o n s e t apart, draws a t t e n t i o n t o i t s e l f as a u n i t d i f f e r e n t from t h e r e s t of the work. s e c t i o n e n t i t l e d "THE PACT' i n Chapter s e c t i o n o f Chapter litany.  So does t h e  4, and t h e f i r s t  6, whose short l i n e s r e c a l l a l i t u r g i c a l  Wordsworth, of course, a l s o e n c l o s e s n o t i c e a b l y  d i s t i n c t s e c t i o n s , as, f o r example, t h e dream s e c t i o n , and the s e c t i o n d e s c r i b i n g the thwarted Vaudracoeur.  love between J u l i a and  But t h e combined e f f e c t o f t h e continuous  blank v e r s e and t h e i n s i s t e n c e on a l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n  76 towards the Mt.  Snowdon r e v e l a t i o n i s t o f o r c e the r e a d e r t o  accept Wordsworth's mature s e l f as a guide these p a r t i c u l a r d i f f i c u l t i e s .  past/through  Walcott, by c o n t r a s t ,  i n s i s t s t h a t we are a r r e s t e d r e g u l a r l y throughout, it  and  that  i s o n l y w i t h some d i f f i c u l t y t h a t we are a b l e t o "begin  a g a i n " w i t h the next s e c t i o n or c h a p t e r .  30  Walcott's ending continues t h i s focus on b e g i n n i n g a g a i n by r e t u r n i n g us t o the beginning: r e c a l l s the opening's verandahs,  the l a s t  chapter  the t w i l i g h t , and the moon  swinging i t s l a n t e r n over the sea's pages.  This c i r c u l a r i t y  p a r a l l e l s t h a t of The Prelude which, as Abrams says i s "an i n v o l u t e d poem . . . about  i t s own  g e n e s i s " (79) .  Abrams  goes on t o j u s t i f y t h i s c l a i m by p o i n t i n g out t h a t the P r e l u d e ' s " s t r u c t u r a l end i s i t s own  The  b e g i n n i n g ; and i t s  temporal b e g i n n i n g . . . i s Wordsworth's entrance upon the stage of h i s l i f e a t which i t ends.  The c o n c l u s i o n goes on  t o s p e c i f y the c i r c u l a r shape of the whole" (79). b e g i n n i n g s and endings of The Prelude and Another a l s o l i n k e d by t h e i r addresses t o a f e l l o w  The L i f e are  artist,  r e s p e c t i v e l y , C o l e r i d g e and G r e g o r i a s / A p i l o / D u n s t a n S t . Omer. Again, however, Walcott m o d i f i e s the d i s c o u r s e suggested by these s i m i l a r i t i e s .  Whereas Wordsworth ends  w i t h the p o s i t i v e v i s i o n o f f e r e d by h i s r e v e l a t o r y e x p e r i e n c e on Mt.  Snowdon, l o o k i n g forward t o the t a s k he  urges C o l e r i d g e t o j o i n him i n ,  Walcott ends by remembering  77  such an e a r l i e r keenness.  He  looks back t o a time when he  and G r e g o r i a s were " l i t "  as Wordsworth and C o l e r i d g e seem t o  be.  found a c e r t a i n s o l a c e i n marriage  and  Although  he has now  f a m i l y , h i s confidence i n h i m s e l f as "the l i g h t of the  world"  (294)  resignation.  has abandoned him t o be r e p l a c e d by a mature The  l a s t l i n e of the poem, however, w i t h i t s  n o s t a l g i c e x h a l a t i o n of two v e r s i o n s of h i s f r i e n d ' s name— "Gregorias, A p i l o ! " — s u g g e s t s  t h a t although he can no  s u s t a i n the o p t i m i s t i c tone with which The concludes,  he i s s t i l l  longer  Prelude  committed to p e r p e t u a l l y b e g i n n i n g  a g a i n at "Adam's task of g i v i n g t h i n g s t h e i r  names"  (294).  78  Conclusion By  f o c u s i n g a comparison of Another L i f e and  P r e l u d e on nature and and  The  landscape imagery, the d i v i d e d  on form, s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e s , and  narrative  self,  patterns,  I hope t o have e s t a b l i s h e d both the s i m i l a r i t i e s which show W a l c o t t c l a i m i n g and  continuing  a t r a d i t i o n , and  m o d i f i c a t i o n s which demonstrate h i s subversion tradition.  the  of  that  Of course, as Paul Merchant p o i n t s out  in his  work on the e p i c , such c o n t i n u a l m o d i f i c a t i o n i s p a r t that t r a d i t i o n .  And  M.H.  Abrams a s s e r t s the  e f f e c t s of the Romantic w r i t e r s  renewing  who,  in reinterpreting their cultural developed new  inheritance,  modes of o r g a n i z i n g experience,  ways of seeing the outer world, and  a new  r e l a t i o n s of the i n d i v i d u a l to h i m s e l f , t o h i s t o r y , and  t o h i s f e l l o w men.  i n order  concepts, schemes, and v a l u e s "  t o nature,  (14)  subvert  which  (13) . very c l o s e i n many ways  I f i n d a comparison of  P r e l u d e and Another L i f e i n t e r e s t i n g f o r e x a c t l y reason.  one  "to save t r a d i t i o n a l  W a l c o t t ' s p r o j e c t seems t o me t o the Romantic p r o j e c t , and  new  s e t of  Nonetheless, he f i n d s the movement a c o n s e r v a t i v e u l t i m a t e l y reformulated  of  The  that  For p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i f Walcott attempts t o modify or t h i s t r a d i t i o n he  i s simultaneously  claiming  and  79 c o n t i n u i n g a h e r i t a g e of j u s t such m o d i f i c a t i o n and subversion.  T h i s i s perhaps one of the reasons Walcott has  been accused  by c r i t i c s of being too s l a v i s h l y European i n  form and s t y l e .  C e r t a i n l y , although Another L i f e i n many  ways suggests the s u b v e r s i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s of mimicry, Walcott  never attempts t o r e j e c t the canon.  Rather, h i s  commitment t o and love of t h i s canon a r e c l e a r i n h i s r a t h e r e r u d i t e a l l u s i v e s t y l e which i n c l u d e s a v o c a b u l a r y ( " l a c e r t i l i a n , " f o r example) very r e f l e c t i v e of a comprehensive European-modeled education. However, such a c c u s a t i o n s seem t o miss t h e p o i n t t h a t one  o f t h e c e n t r a l dilemmas faced i n Another L i f e i s  Walcott's  sense of d i v i s i o n between h i s A f r i c a n and h i s  European a n c e s t o r s . As w e l l , they ignore o r r e f u s e t o accept h i s pragmatic English"  i n s i s t e n c e t h a t "the language of e x e g e s i s i s  ( " T w i l i g h t " 31), and h i s consequent d e c i s i o n t o use  t h a t language and s t y l e , but t o use i t i n a new way, "making c r e a t i v e use o f h i s s c h i z o p h r e n i a " ( " T w i l i g h t " 17). What these c r i t i c s d i s m i s s as merely i m i t a t i v e , I read as a powerful  r e - w r i t i n g which allows Walcott t o c l a i m , r a t h e r  than s i l e n c e h i s European h e r i t a g e , m o d i f y i n g h i s i n h e r i t a n c e t o ensure i t s continued r e l e v a n c e by i n s c r i b i n g within i t the previously silenced r e a l i t i e s of the Caribbean.  80  Notes 1.  C a p i t a l i z i n g "Nature" i s common both throughout The  P r e l u d e and throughout much of the c r i t i c i s m d e a l i n g w i t h it.  T h i s c a p i t a l i z a t i o n i s u s e f u l t o d i s t i n g u i s h the Nature  which i s transcendent from the d a i l y m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of "nature" through which the g r e a t e r "Nature" i s known. W i l l i a m s , i n Wordsworth: Politics  (Manchester:  Romantic  John  Poetry and R e v o l u t i o n  Manchester UP,  1989), uses the  c a p i t a l i z e d form t o p o i n t out t h a t , f o r the Romantics, "Nature had become the source of d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n , and i n consequence  'Nature' and  synonymously"  (3).  'God' were o f t e n t r e a t e d  He d e l i n e a t e s Wordsworth's " d i s t i n c t i o n  between a love of n a t u r a l o b j e c t s f o r t h e i r own  sake"—what  we might c a l l small-n n a t u r e — " a n d a more profound l o v e engendered  by a r e c o g n i t i o n of the permanent moral  and  s p i r i t u a l t r u t h s w i t h which n a t u r a l o b j e c t s were imbued" (5).  The l a t t e r more profound love i s f o r t h a t Nature I  w i l l discuss using a c a p i t a l 2.  "N."  See Edward Kamau Brathwaite's H i s t o r y of the V o i c e :  The Development of Nation Language i n Anglophone Poetry, 3.  London:  New  Beacon,  Caribbean  1984.  H a r o l d Bloom's theory about the r e l a t i o n s h i p  between poets and t h e i r p r e c u r s o r s i s o u t l i n e d i n h i s work, The A n x i e t y of I n f l u e n c e  (New  York:  Oxford UP,  197 3) .  81 4.  I have not confirmed t h a t t h i s i s the v e r s i o n  i n c l u d e d i n Walcott's reasonable 5.  c u r r i c u l u m , but i t does seem a  conjecture.  Endnotes t o Stephen G i l l ' s e d i t i o n of the  book Prelude i n W i l l i a m Wordsworth (Oxford: 1990)  thirteen-  Oxford  UP,  are very u s e f u l f o r p o i n t i n g out a l l u s i o n s made i n The  Prelude to Paradise Lost. 6.  M.H.  Abbrams c a l l s t h i s a l l u s i o n "the  first  prominent i n s t a n c e of Wordsworth's c a r e f u l l y chosen a l l o c a t e d a l l u s i o n s t o Paradise L o s t . "  He says i t i s a  "very s t r i k i n g i n s t a n c e , because i n h i s opening  he  the c l o s i n g l i n e s of M i l t o n ' s e p i c , when Adam and between sadness and expectancy,  echoes Eve,  leave p a r a d i s e t o take  t h e i r journey i n t h i s world of a l l of us" d i s a g r e e s with c r i t i c s who  and  (115).  Abrams  see t h i s as e s t a b l i s h i n g  The  P r e l u d e as a sequel t o Paradise Lost, p o i n t i n g out t h a t though the preamble comes f i r s t  i n the  structural  order of the Prelude, i t inaugurates the stage of the n a r r a t o r ' s l i f e which comes l a s t i n i t s temporal  order.  I t i s not, then, The  Prelude  which Wordsworth meant t o d o v e t a i l i n t o the p l a c e i n M i l t o n ' s poem at which man,  having  lost  p a r a d i s e , s e t s out on h i s p i l g r i m a g e t o r e c o v e r i t again, but the n a r r a t i v e which f o l l o w s The Prelude; namely, the opening  book of The  proper, Home a t Grasmere." (116-7)  up  Recluse  82 N e v e r t h e l e s s , the journey which the reader w i l l w i t h Wordsworth's poet persona,  undertake  the journey i n which  Wordsworth w i l l re-shape h i s l i f e f o r n a r r a t i o n must begin a t the o u t s i d e edge of a garden which r e c a l l s t h a t of Paradise Lost. Susan Wolfson, i n her a r t i c l e "'Answering Questions Q u e s t i o n i n g Answers': Prelude" 1993)  The  I n t e r r o g a t i v e P r o j e c t of  The  [The Prelude ed. N i g e l Wood (Buckingham: Open  125-165] c o n s i d e r s how  complexly  and  UP,  t h i s M i l t o n i c echo i s "more  s c r i p t e d with important c o u n t e r - i n t i m a t i o n s , "  l o o k i n g a t ways i n which the echo "not o n l y f o r e c a s t s providence  [but] a l s o b r i n g s i n t o p l a y a s c r i p t of  and a l i e n a t i o n . " "hero's  failure  She p o i n t s out t h a t although Wordsworth's  v o i c e does not pause over t h i s double  legacy,"  Wordsworth's sense of i t i n f l e c t s the v o i c i n g of h i s next q u e s t i o n which, though s t i l l  c a s t i n a r h e t o r i c of  a f f i r m a t i o n , bears a more h e s i t a n t tone, and as a consequence, an ambiguous sense" 7. " ' I Met  (150).  Paul B r e s l i n makes t h i s connection i n h i s review, H i s t o r y Once, But He A i n ' t Recognize Me':  Poetry of Derek Walcott"  T r i - O u a r t e r l v 68  (1987):  R u s s e l l Banks' s t r e e t - w i s e c h a r a c t e r , Bone, h i s R a s t a f a r i a n mentor i n Rule of the Bone V i n t a g e Canada, 1996)  The 168-183. paraphrases  (Toronto:  a s s e r t i n g c o n t i n u i t y between, s l a v e r y ,  c o l o n i a l i s m , and tourism.  As he  says,  83 when t h e E n g l i s h found out how c o l o n i z a t i o n was a cheaper and l e s s vexatious way than s l a v e r y f o r g e t t i n g r i c h without having t o leave London  excpet  on v a c a t i o n , they went and f r e e d a l l t h e i r s l a v e s and c o l o n i z e d them i n s t e a d .  And a f t e r t h a t when  the E n g l i s h queen f i n a l l y d i e d and they had t o l e t Jamaica go f r e e the Americans and Canadians invented tourism which was the same as c o l o n i z a t i o n , he s a i d only without t h e c i t i z e n s of the colony needing t o make or grow anything. (157) 8.  Harold Bloom d i s c u s s e s the contemporary  poet's  r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s l i t e r a r y f o r e b e a r s i n terms o f Father and son.  Walcott's use throughout  draws on i t s many Caribbean  of t h e word "master"  connotations as w e l l as  s u g g e s t i n g t h e i n e v i t a b l e "anxiety of i n f l u e n c e . " 9. Harold  In The Anxiety of I n f l u e n c e : Bloom develops  A Theory o f Poetry,  a r e a d i n g of P a r a d i s e L o s t "as an  a l l e g o r y of t h e dilemma of t h e modern poet"  (20).  In t h i s ,  he applauds s u b v e r s i v e or S a t a n i c r e s i s t a n c e t o a p r e d e c e s s o r ' s poetry as s t r e n g t h i n c o n t r a s t t o Adamic attempts and impulses which are seen as weak (20-24) . goes on t o c i t e Blake who, as Bloom says, names one s t a t e of being Adam, and c a l l s i t t h e L i m i t of C o n t r a c t i o n , and another c a l l s i t t h e L i m i t of Opacity.  s t a t e Satan, and  Adam i s g i v e n o r  n a t u r a l man, beyond which our imaginations  will  He  84 not c o n t r a c t .  Satan i s the thwarted or r e s t r a i n e d  d e s i r e of n a t u r a l man,  or r a t h e r the shadow of  Spectre of t h a t d e s i r e . s t a t e , we  Beyond t h i s s p e c t r a l  w i l l not harden a g a i n s t v i s i o n , but  Spectre squats i n our r e p r e s s i v e n e s s ,  and we  hardened enough, as we  enough.  are c o n t r a c t e d  the are (24)  Bloom makes i t c l e a r t h a t poets " t h i s l a t e i n t r a d i t i o n both Adams and and  Satans" (24), and  t h a t "no  poet s i n c e Adam  Satan speaks a language f r e e of the one  precursors" 10.  are  wrought by  his  (25).  S e v e r a l c r i t i c s have concerned themselves w i t h  what Wordsworth does not i n h i s a r t i c l e "The  (or cannot s a y ) .  Rhetoric  Douglas Kneale,  of Imagination"  (Ariel  [1984] 111-127) d i s c u s s e s Wordsworth's concerns w i t h incompetence of language.  He quotes Roman Jakobson  15:4 the as  p o i n t i n g out t h a t "the supremacy of p o e t i c f u n c t i o n over r e f e r e n t i a l f u n c t i o n does not o b l i t e r a t e the r e f e r e n c e makes i t ambiguous," and goes on to say of The  Prelude that  such ambiguity i s most apparent i n a poem which f i n d s i t s e l f  instead  n a r r a t i n g the s e r a i o l o g i c a l problems of t h a t narration.  S h i f t i n g between an  h i s t o r y troped and  imaginative  as f i c t i o n , u s u r p a t i o n ,  a f i c t i o n which purports  autobiography, and  epitaph,  t o descant on i t s own  and  drama,  t o be h i s t o r y , the t e x t f e e l s o b l i g e d  deformity.  (12 5)  but  85 G a y a t r i Spivak's a r t i c l e Prelude  (1805):  "Sex and H i s t o r y i n The  Books Nine t o T h i r t e e n " p r o v i d e s an  i n t e r e s t i n g r e a d i n g of The Prelude i n terms of what i s s i l e n c e d or occluded: The  i t i n e r a r y of Wordsworth's s e c u r i n g o f t h e  Imagination of  Julia,  i s worth r e c a p i t u l a t i n g .  Suppression  unemphatic r e t e n t i o n of Vaudracour as  s u s t a i n e d and negative c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y of disavowal, h i s s u b l a t i o n i n t o C o l e r d i g e , rememorating through t h e mediation of t h e f i g u r e of  Dorothy h i s own Oedipal a c c e s s i o n t o t h e Law,  Imagination  as the androgyny of Nature and Man  —  Woman shut out. I cannot but see i n i t t h e s e x u a l p o l i t i c a l program of the Great T r a d i t i o n . d i s c l o s i n g such a programmatic i t i n e r a r y ,  If, i n I have  l e f t a s i d e the i r r e d u c i b l e h e t e r o g e n e i t y of Wordsworth's t e x t , i t i s a l s o i n t h e i n t e r e s t o f a certain politics.  I t i s i n the i n t e r e s t of  s u g g e s t i n g t h a t , when a man (here Wordsworth) addresses  another man (Coleridge) i n a s u s t a i n e d  c o n v e r s a t i o n of a seemingly must learn  u n i v e r s a l t o p i c , we  t o read the m i c r o s t r u c t u r a l burden o f  the woman's p a r t . (136) Although  Walcott does a t l e a s t attempt i n p l a c e s t o speak  the woman's p a r t , h i s attempts a r e such t h a t i t seems f a i r l y  86 c l e a r t h a t Spivak would p l a c e him s q u a r e l y i n the Great Tradition. Susan Wolfson's Q u e s t i o n i n g Answers': Prelude" 1993)  article  "'Answering  Questions  and  The I n t e r r o g a t i v e P r o j e c t of  The  (The Prelude, ed. N i g e l Wood, Buckingham:  Open UP,  a l s o examines the unsaid i n The Prelude, by exposing  e v a s i o n s and i n d e t e r m i n a c i e s i n what she c a l l s Wordsworth's "interrogative dialectics."  Although she does not do so i n  her essay, she suggests t h a t "a wider a p p l i c a t i o n of [these d i a l e c t i c s ] t o the s o c i o h i s t o r i c a l f o r c e s shaping both n o t i o n s of s u b j e c t i v i t y and a t t i t u d e s about h i s t o r y as they are  r e p r e s e n t e d i n , or excluded from, h i s autobiography"  (162, my 11.  emphasis) might be u s e f u l .  E l a i n e F i d o i n "Walcott and Sexual P o l i t i c s :  Conventions Shape the Moon," i n The L i t e r a r y 26.1  Macho  Half-Yearly  (1985) 43-61, f i n d s Walcott's treatment of women  throughout h i s work d i s a p p o i n t i n g .  She r e l a t e s h i s  d e p i c t i o n of Woman t o h i s use of the moon as p o i n t i n g out t h a t i t i s used t o convey  symbol,  images of whiteness,  f e c u n d i t y , and w i t c h e r y . 12. Life,  In h i s a r t i c l e ,  " P a i n t e r s and P a i n t i n g i n Another  Edward Baugh o f f e r s a thorough d i s c u s s i o n of W a l c o t t ' s  use of amber 13.  imagery.  The King Lear a l l u s i o n , of course i s t o L e a r ' s  87 exclamation  i n Act I I I :  "0, t h a t way madness l i e s ;  l e t me  shun t h a t " ( I I I , iv' 21) . f  14.  Again,  Susan Wolfson i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o r e a d on t h e  i s s u e o f Wordsworth's use o f the i n t e r r o g a t i v e . 15.  The theme of d i v i s i o n i n Another L i f e i s d i s c u s s e d  i n numerous other a r t i c l e s . "'A C r y s t a l o f A m b i g u i t i e s ' :  Pamela Mordecai,  f o r example i n  Metaphors f o r C r e a t i v i t y and  the A r t o f W r i t i n g i n Derek Walcott's Another L i f e " 27:1  (WLWE  [1987] 93-105), l i s t s the d i v i s i o n s as being between d e s i r e s t o p a i n t and t o w r i t e , between A n g l i c i z e d / c o l o n i a l / w h i t e and i n d i g e n o u s / b l a c k view o f t h e world, between C r e o l e and standard languages,  between p u e r i l e and mature a t t i t u d e s ,  between the r e a l and the i d e a l i z e d , between a r t and a c t u a l i t y . (94) In "Commonwealth Albums:  Family Resemblance i n Derek  Walcott's Another L i f e and Margaret Laurence * s The D i v i n e r s " (WLWE 22:2 [1982] 262-268), C l a r a Thomas sums up Walcott's division i n race between England  and S t . L u c i a , and beyond  t h a t he i s l i n k e d by blood t o a remote A f r i c a n past.  In r e l i g i o n he i s p u l l e d between h i s f a m i l y  h e r i t a g e o f Methodism, the dominant C a t h o l i c i s m o f the C a s t r i e s he knew as a boy, and 'an atavism s t r o n g e r than t h e i r Mass / s t r o n g e r than c h a p e l / whose tubers gripped the rooted m i d d l e c l a s s /  88 b e g i n n i n g where A f r i c a n began / i n the body's memory.* 16.  (265)  Edward Baugh p r o v i d e s a c a r e f u l r e a d i n g of the  poem's p a i n t i n g imagery and i n c l u d e s u s e f u l  information  about r e f e r e n c e s t o books, p a i n t i n g s , and a r t i s t s a l l u d e d t o i n Another L i f e i n h i s a r t i c l e " P a i n t e r s and P a i n t i n g i n Another  Life."  17.  The young poet i s brought t o t h i s  scene of s e x u a l  g u i l t by rowboat.  The r e g u l a r p e n t a m e t r i c a l l i n e s  section  s e c t i o n of Chapter 13) t o d e s c r i b e what  (the t h i r d  of  this  Walcott d e l i b e r a t e l y c a l l s the " p e n t a m e t r i c a l " rowing h e l p t o connect i t w i t h another important rowing scene i n pentametre, t h a t of Book I i n The P r e l u d e .  The l a t t e r i s  a l s o h e a v i l y imbued with g u i l t , which although o s t e n s i b l y a g u i l t a t the " a c t of s t e a l t h "  (1.388) i s t o l d  i n language  which connotes s e x u a l i t y : " l u s t i l y / I dipped my the  s i l e n t Lake, / And, as I rose upon the s t r o k e , my Boat /  Went heaving through the water" 18. (New  oars i n t o  (1.401-404).  Jamaica K i n c a i d ' s The Autobiography of My  York:  F a r r a r Straus Giroux, 1996)  Mother  i s i n s c r i b e d "For  Derek W a l c o t t . " 19. 'I':  See Ashton N i c h o l s " a r t i c l e "The  Revolutionary  Wordsworth and the P o l i t i c s of S e l f - P r e s e n t a t i o n " i n  Wordsworth i n Context Ed. P a u l i n e F l e t c h e r and John Murphy (Lewisburg:  B u c k n e l l UP,  1992)  pp. 66-84. f o r a more  89 thorough c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Wordsworth's s e l f and h i s s e l f as t e x t . 20. See G a y a t r i Chakravorty Spivak's i n The Prelude (1805): 21.  "Sex and  History  Books Nine t o T h i r t e e n . "  Merchant i n c l u d e s Dante's Commedia as an even  e a r l i e r a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l e p i c , c i t i n g Emerson's p r a i s e of Dante " t h a t he dared t o w r i t e h i s autobiography i n c o l o s s a l cypher, or i n t o u n i v e r s a l i t y "  (41).  22. Although Merchant s t a t e s t h a t "Chaucer's  Canterbury  T a l e s have no more c l a i m than Langland's poem t o be  classed  as a c o n v e n t i o n a l e p i c , " he i n c l u d e s them i n h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the e p i c  because  they are another c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the t r a d i t i o n  . .  . the simple d e v i c e of having them a l l on a p i l g r i m a g e t o Canterbury, d u r i n g which each p i l g r i m was  t o t e l l two p a i r s of s t o r i e s t o  b e g u i l e the time.  The r e s u l t i s a long poem w i t h  a d i s t i n c t o r a l c h a r a c t e r . . . and a g a i n the poet has found a l o o s e s t r u c t u r e which w i l l every contemporary 23. Greeks:  c l a s s and custom.  In h i s Graduating Honours B.A.  accommodate (43)  essay "Black  The Odyssey and the Poetry of Derek W a l c o t t "  ( U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  1990), L a c h l a n Murray  d i s c u s s e s Walcott's E p i t a p h f o r the Young, p o i n t i n g out i t s  90 d i r e c t connection  with Another L i f e and n o t i n g t h a t i t i s a  long poem i n twelve cantos. In an i n t e r v i e w with Robert Hamner, Walcott says o f Epitaph  f o r the Young t h a t i t i s " s o r t of l i k e an U r t e x t o f  Another L i f e "  ("Conversation with Derek W a l c o t t , "  L i t e r a t u r e Written 24.  World  i n E n g l i s h , 16 [1977]: 409-420).  See Note 21 f o r more on Paul Merchant's  c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Dante's Commedia as the " e a r l i e s t  epic  w r i t t e n i n the f i r s t person" (38). 25.  R e i Terada makes the u s e f u l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s  mimesis can be taken " t o mean the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and  'mimicry' the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  that  of r e a l i t y ,  of a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ,  a  r e p e t i t i o n of something i t s e l f r e p e t i t i o u s " ( 1 ) , and he p o i n t s out t h a t " f o r Walcott mimicry, with a l l i t s ambivalent f r e i g h t , r e p l a c e s mimesis as the ground o f representation 26.  and c u l t u r e " ( 2 ) .  Edward Baugh o f f e r s a b r i e f v e r s i o n o f t h i s b a t t l e  on page 45 of Derek Walcott:  Memory as V i s i o n :  Another  Life. 27.  T h i s c l a i m of the Romantic p r o j e c t as a r e -  f a s h i o n i n g of these meta-narratives t o save t r a d i t i o n a l concepts, schemes, and v a l u e s which had been based on the r e l a t i o n of t h e Creator  t o h i s c r e a t u r e and c r e a t i o n , but t o  reformulate  them w i t h i n the p r e v a i l i n g two-term  91 system of s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , ego and non-ego, the human mind or consciousness and i t s t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h nature  (13)  i s the c e n t r a l focus of M.H.  Abrams  1  Natural  Supernaturalism.  28.  T h i s i s s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r t o the image i n The  P r e l u d e of the f l o o d o v e r t a k i n g and d e s t r o y i n g the book carried  ( i n the form of s h e l l and stone) by the Arab i n  Wordsworth's f r i e n d ' s dream. resonance  f o r the Caribbean,  The  "nothing" a l s o has  special  of course, r e c a l l i n g as i t must  N a i p a u l ' s well-known comment i n The Middle Passage (Harmondsworth:  Penguin,  1969)  t h a t "nothing was  created i n  the West I n d i e s " (29). 29.  Susan Lohafer r e f e r s t o the space around each s t o r y i n  a c o l l e c t i o n of s h o r t s t o r i e s as an o n t o l o g i c a l gap,  for  which she uses the metaphor of a moat (Lohafer 52). A f t e r l e a v i n g the  o n t o l o g i c a l space of one s t o r y and  before  e n t e r i n g the next, the reader must c r o s s the moat of the "real"  world.  30.  Edward Baugh draws a t t e n t i o n t o Another L i f e ' s  " r i c h v a r i e t y of moods, and the s u b t l e t y , sometimes the s u b t l e suddenness, with which the poet s h i f t s the gears of the poem" (28).  emotional  T h i s sudden m o o d - s h i f t i n g f o r c e s  92 the  reader  again."  to  make a d j u s t m e n t s  or,  in effect,  to  "begin  93  Works C i t e d Abrams, M.H.  N a t u r a l Supernaturalism:  Tradition  R e v o l u t i o n i n Romantic L i t e r a t u r e .  New  and  York:  Norton,  1971. Ashcroft, B i l l ,  Gareth G r i f f i t h s , and Helen T i f f i n .  Empire Writes Back:  Theory and P r a c t i c e i n P o s t -  Colonial Literatures. Baugh, Edward.  London:  Routledge,  New  A n x i e t y of I n f l u e n c e :  York: Oxford UP,  B r e i n e r , Lawrence. Poet."  35.4  Life'"  83-93. A Theory of P o e t r y .  1973.  " T r a d i t i o n , S o c i e t y , The F i g u r e of the  Caribbean Q u a r t e r l y 26.1-2 (1980):  Huggan, Graham. the  1989.  " P a i n t e r s and P a i n t i n g i n 'Another  Caribbean Q u a r t e r l y 16.1-2 (1980): Bloom, H a r o l d .  The  "A T a l e of Two  Parrots:  Uses of C o l o n i a l Mimicry."  1-12.  Walcott, Rhys, and  Contemporary L i t e r a t u r e  (1994): 646-660.  Ismond, P a t r i c i a .  "Walcott versus Brathwaite."  Caribbean  Q u a r t e r l y 17.3-4 (1971): 54-71. Lane, M. T r a v i s .  "A D i f f e r e n t  'Growth of a Poet's Mind':  Derek Walcott's Another L i f e . " Lindenberger, Herbert. Conn.:  Greenwood,  Lord, George d e F o r e s t .  On Wordsworth's Prelude.  Paul.  Westport,  1976. T r i a l s of the S e l f :  i n the E p i c T r a d i t i o n . Merchant,  A r i e l 9 (1978): 65-78.  The E p i c .  Hamden, Conn.: London:  Methuen,  Heroic Ordeals Archon, 1971.  1983.  N i c h o l s , Ashton.  " C o l o n i z i n g Consciousness: C u l t u r e and  I d e n t i t y i n Walcott's Another  L i f e and Wordsworth's  P r e l u d e . " i n Imagination. Emblems and E x p r e s s i o n s : Essays on L a t i n American, C u l t u r e and I d e n t i t y . Green, Ohio:  ed. Helen Ryan-Ransom.  Bowling Green State U n i v e r s i t y  Press, 1993. S a i d , Edward.  Caribbean, and C o n t i n e n t a l Bowling Popular  173-189.  C u l t u r e and Imperialism.  New  York:  Knopf,  1993 . Spivak, G a y a t r i C.  "Sex and H i s t o r y i n The P r e l u d e  Books Nine t o T h i r t e e n " and Language 23.3 Terada, R e i .  (1981): 324-260.  Northeastern UP,  Walcott, Derek. 1984.  Texas S t u d i e s i n L i t e r a t u r e  Derek Walcott's Poetry:  Boston:  "Another L i f e . "  New  York:  E d i t i o n New  (1805):  American  Mimicry.  1992. i n C o l l e c t e d Poems  1948-  F a r r a r , Straus & Giroux, 1986.  York:  F a r r a r , Straus & Giroux,  "What the T w i l i g h t Says:  An Overture."  First  1973.  Introduction.  Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other P l a y s , by Derek Walcott.  New  York:  F a r r a r , Straus & Giroux, 1970.  40. Walker, A l i c e .  Rev.  of Another L i f e .  Contemporary L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . Wordsworth. 1990.  "The Prelude"  Ed. Stephen G i l l .  Excerpted i n (1975): (1805).  Oxford:  576. i n William Oxford  UP,  3-  

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