What might be the meaning of the final three stanzas of Dereck Walcott's "The Wind in the Dooryard"?

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Derek Walcott's "The Wind in the Doorway" is one of several of Walcott's poems that begin with frustration, but which manage to find a solution or at least a sense of peace.

"The Wind in the Doorway" begins with the speaker not wanting to write the poem at all....

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Derek Walcott's "The Wind in the Doorway" is one of several of Walcott's poems that begin with frustration, but which manage to find a solution or at least a sense of peace.

"The Wind in the Doorway" begins with the speaker not wanting to write the poem at all. The poem is written "for Eric Roach," and we learn as the poem unfolds that Roach drowned himself.

The speaker doesn't want the poem to develop from the somewhat gruesome fact of Roach's suicide, but he also feels that he cannot help it. Just as the sun rises whether we want it to or not, just as the cows chew cud and the rain falls, the poem arises in the narrator's mind and must be spilled out.

In the last three stanzas, the tone of the poem shifts. Where the narrator was struggling at the beginning with the fact that he didn't want to produce this poem, in the last three stanzas he begins to embrace the fact that the poem is inevitable.

He begins with an image of a peasant who "reeks sweetly of bush," like his donkey: "They smell of the high, high country/of clouds and stunted pines." Here, the peasant, donkey, and countryside become one, all part of a naturally unfolding process. So when the peasant wipes his hand, "crusty with dirt" from work, over his "tobacco-stained" mouth and "spits out pity," these are all natural processes even though they're also caused by human actions. There's no longer any real distinction between what humans do and the natural order of the world.

In the second to last stanza, the narrator repeats one more time, "I did not want it to come." He's no longer fighting it, however. Instead, he admits that the poem, like the wind, simply comes, and that it too "smells of the freshness of life."

The last stanza's comparison of the breeze which "lifts/the sprigs of the coralita" and humans who are "lifting our heads, at our happiest" again fuses human action with natural action. The poem is a natural, inevitable response to the situation, not an artificial way of dealing with grief. Being natural, it is inevitable, and the narrator thus embraces it.

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