What is the impact of the alliteration in Derek Walcott's poem "A Careful Passion"? 

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There are several examples of alliteration throughout the poem, and in most examples, the alliteration is used as a form of onomatopoeia. For example, in the opening stanza, the speaker describes a scene "at the city's edge" and with "a breezy prospect of the sea." The speaker describes, as part of this scene, the "foam-white flowers" that adorn a hedge. The alliteration of the "f" sound here onomatopoeically evokes the sound of the waves gently breaking on the shore and thereby creates a more immersive atmosphere for the reader.

In the same stanza, the speaker also describes the "Marimba medleys from a local band." The alliteration of the "m" sound here also has an onomatopoeic effect. The "m" sound is repeated three times in quick succession, echoing the percussive rhythm of the Marimba drums.

In stanza 3, the speaker says that he strokes his partner's hand "while winds play with the corners of her skirt." The alliteration of the phrase "while winds" emphasizes the softness and breathiness of the "w" sound and thus onomatopoeically echoes the soft, wistful nature of the wind as it plays with his partner's skirt.

Walcott also uses alliteration in the poem to enhance the imagery he describes. For example, in the second stanza, the speaker says that "Wave after wave of memory silts the mind." The repetition of the soft "w" sound again has an onomatopoeic effect here, echoing the soft, gentle lapping of the waves. The alliteration of the phrase "wave after wave" also helps to create and enhance the image of the waves following one after another, over and over again.

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