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Within the simplicity of the word Caribbean lies a complexity and even contradiction. Nicholas Laughlin contends that, "Caribbean is not a simple word; it means so much about history and landscape, freedom and despair, language and silence, home and exile, power and love." Hence, the voice of Caribbean or West Indian poetry often reflects anguish which resulted from past oppression.


Much like the Caribbean people who struggle with their national identities after enduring European brutality, West Indian poets found it difficult to find their own poetic voice (Breiner, 113). Instead of producing works that reflected their true feelings, West Indian poets found their poetry succumbing to the traditional British verse and subject matters. It was not until later that West Indian poets were permitted to liberally express themselves in the poetic form. When they ventured to write parallel to their true feelings and beliefs, West Indian poets often did so apologetically. Poets were left to question their poetic boundaries. Likely questions of the poets were whether or not they should engage in "social commentary, protests," or seek to find a balance between "protest poetry and high art" (Jennings 23). As a result, much of the West Indian poetry, including Eric Roach's, conveyed uncertainty and confusion.
Known for Caribbean pastoral imagery in his writing (Jennings 4), Roach paints vivid pictures that show beauty of the land. In each stanza of the poem, the poet conveys his adoration of the land. ...
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