17 pages 34 minutes read

Derek Walcott

Midsummer XXVII

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1984

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Related Poems

Midsummer, I” by Derek Walcott (1984)

This is the first poem in Walcott’s collection of the same title. In it, the speaker describes returning to the islands during the summer. As with “Midsummer XXVII” the speaker probes the landscape to understand the challenges, shortcomings, and difficulties of both the islands and its people. He notes that it hasn’t even been able to form a people (Line 9). Instead, the tires keep shaking the human heart (Line 25). This introduces one of Walcott’s major themes, which is the insecurity of identity among those who have inherited the legacy of colonization, a theme he continues to probe in “Midsummer XXVII.”

Midsummer, Tobago” by Derek Walcott (1984)

This is another of Walcott’s poems from his collection Midsummer. It deals with some of the themes he explores in “Midsummer I” and “Midsummer XXVII,” including a shifting identity; however, this poem seems more personal. The speaker writes about how he has experienced days and also “lost” (Line 9) days in the islands, but presumably because of age and not because of political or cultural interventions. In the last lines, he references daughters leaving, (Lines 10-11), which likely refers to his own children who grew up and moved away.