Derek Walcott

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What are some of the main themes be in Derek Walcott's poem "Landfall, Grenada"?

The main themes in Derek Walcott's poem "Landfall, Grenada" include emigration and identity. 

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One of the main themes in Derek Walcott's poem "Landfall, Grenada" is emigration and relocation. The speaker addresses a person who seems to have left his own country for another, and the speaker seems to admire this person's equanimity in being able to adapt so readily to his new environment. This person is now "rigidly anchored" in his new country, whereas in his own country, he was in a place characterized by the "grandeurs" of the sea, which he "detested." In his new country, the émigré has settled with a "casual certainty." It is possible that the émigré here is Walcott himself; perhaps Walcott is, in this poem, speaking to a version of himself from the past. Indeed, Walcott himself emigrated from the Caribbean to the United States.

Another major theme in the poem, related to the theme of emigration and relocation, is the theme of identity. The speaker says that when the émigré left his own country, his "death was a log's entry." This death is of course metaphorical. The émigré did not literally die when he left his own country, but the metaphor suggests that the émigré became a new person when he decided to leave his own country. The implication here is that one's identity is tied inextricably to the place that one calls home and that one's identity, therefore, necessarily changes—or metaphorically dies—when one leaves that place.

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