“The City May be Just, / and Humankind be Kind”: Departures and Homecomings in Derek Walcott’s Poetry

Author: Maha Qahtan Sulaiman

Keywords: Postcolonialism, Caribbean, politics, corruption, art .


Critics have frequently addressed the theme of betrayal that runs throughoutDerek Walcott‘s poetry due to leaving St. Lucia, the island where he was born. Walcott‘s poetrypresentsconfused characters, divided between their desire forreturning home and the temperament for travelling and adventure.Thisstudy questions the role ofthe socio-political conditionsof the post-independence Caribbean in motivating artists to live abroad. The Caribbean gained independence in the beginning of the 1960s, and confrontedserioustrialsto become a nation throughout the 1970s. Thecritiqueexamines Walcott‘sdirect attack on the Caribbean cultureinsome of his most important poems, where the persona is either visiting or leaving his native island.He is a quester who mirrorsthe poet‘sanger at the people‘s difficulties, political corruption, social climbing, and discrimination based on class and colour.