Society and Nationhood
in the Caribbean
Towards Another Life
The two works following Another Life, Sea Grapes (1976) and The Star-Apple Kingdom (1979), are closely informed by the mature vision and aesthetic realized in Another Life. They show two main areas of concern: in Sea Grapes, the poet's private attempt to find anchor in a quality of maturity and serenity consistent with the larger, spiritual truths of Another Life’, and, in The Star-Apple Kingdom, an intensive engagement with the political and public scene of the Caribbean in independence. The latter is the dominant area of concern, accounting for some of the more outstanding poems of these two volumes which, along with Remembrance and Pantomime (1980) in the drama, mark the end of Walcott's career as an artist based exclusively in the Caribbean.
The present chapter will deal with this more prominent concern with politics and society in the postindependence Caribbean scene, as represented by the two longer poems in The Star-Apple Kingdom, the title poem and “The Schooner Flight”. The earlier volume, Sea Grapes, although it contains a few strident political pieces, is primarily a lyrical, reflective work. It is a work of