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XIV by Derek Walcott

            In the poem "XIV", Derek Walcott takes us on a journey in which he uses darkness, the setting, the atmosphere, and poetic devices to describe the speaker's transition from the "unknown" to acquiring knowledge. Through the poetic devices Walcott uses, the reader can perceive the speaker's development of maturity from his childhood to adulthood by listening to the wise, elderly woman's stories about the Caribbean. On the journey of the two boys, Walcott uses imagery to set a dark, gloomy mood for the first half of them poem. "Sunset would threaten us as we climbed closer." The quote is saying that the closer they got to the woman's house, the darker and more dangerous the journey would be. Meaning, that the boys are not very fond of their surroundings, and without any light they are in danger because they would be lost in the world. The reason they go to the storyteller's house, is to learn more about their surroundings, the dark symbolizes how much they don't know about the Caribbean, the same way they can't see in the dark.
             The two boys are on their way to the storyteller's house, and once they are close Walcott includes a source of light by the woman's house, symbolizing guidance for the two boys. "There was her own lamp at the black twist of the path. There's childhood, and there's childhood's aftermath." This quote is saying that the storyteller was the source of light for the boys, and the black twist of the path is where the boys change from children into men. When the speaker says that there is childhood's aftermath, that means that after being children it is time to go into adulthood. A lot of the things the two boys learned from life and growing up was from the storyteller, her long life made her wise and very knowledgeable of the Caribbean, her stories taught the boys everything they needed to know. "Her leaves were libraries of the Caribbean.

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