Old New England Essay

This essay has a total of 365 words and 2 pages.

Old New England

Derek Walcott's "Old New England" is a poem concentrated upon the history of the beginning
of New England colonies in America, but instead of presenting our past as a triumph, he
manages to illustrate our most prideful moments as a dishonorable time period. By
mentioning harsh things and using vivid imagery, it fabricates the poem to seem like a
conviction rather than an ode honoring the country.

Symbolism is used quite regularly in this poem. For example, "the war whoop is coiled
tight in the white owl, stone-feathered icon of the Indian soul, and railway lines are
arrowing to the far mountainwide absence of the Iroquois."(1) This entire line
concentrates upon the spirit and extermination of the Iroquois, providing the railway
lines as a permanent reminder to readers who the original owners were for that land. Also
in the last stanza, regular objects are associated with religion. For instance, the church
symbolizes where all of God's good intentions lie, a trail of birch in the forest is His
wandering mind, and his rage is the vats that boiled the melted beast that the black
clippers brought home from the East. The black clippers are mentioned in the very
beginning of the poem as well as in the end, showing that perhaps the most dominant aspect
in America then was the rage in God - the awfulness that has bestowed upon American

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