Better a jungle in the head
Aah yes….Given that I am away from the warm, festive delights of my beautiful island of St. Lucia this season, I chose the above poem by St Lucia’s very own Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, out of a sense of deep nostalgia. This is primarily a poem about the nature of belonging. The Christmas season embodies this need to belong to something bigger than oneself (God, family, land…). Not to downplay the beauty of snow and the warmth of being inside with loved ones or playing outside in the snow, this poem highlights the power of the Caribbean sea/land on one’s soul. For Walcott, and I would gather for many people of Caribbean descent, there is a strong contrast between spending Christmas in a cold Northern metropolis & spending it in the wild freedom of an island’s landscape surrounded by childhood friends & family. Of course, Walcott’s genius frames this contrast in the most beautiful way that few can imitate.
I sincerely wish you all a safe, deeply meditative & enjoyable Christmas season and an auspicious 2012.