Folk stories as author Derek Walcott remembers were full of life and told with love. As a child on his journey up the “asphalt hill road” to visit an elderly woman brings him to remember, and in return tell us a story of his own. In this short flashback he is using descriptive imagery along with metaphors and similes to recreate the scenes for us from the unknown surroundings to the wonders of the woman he comes across. Walcott tells this flashback in first perspective filled with descriptive imagery and adds a pinch of personification. From the very beginning, the poem starts off with the “old snake shedding its skin”, followed by the “smelling of mold”, somewhat representing the start of the unknown path with something a little scary to both him and his brother.
The sunset is portrayed as a threat, and throughout the poem he makes comparisons satisfying our heads with imagination.Through lines one to eleven little to no periods are shown this is used by the author to express the length of the journey and show his memory of getting to the house. He never fails directing us to allow ourselves to explore our own heads and with that in mind he brings in the similes. We have “shutters cling like the eyelids of that mimosa” and so forth.
There’s a shift within the story towards the middle of the poem, lines thirteenth till the end, speaking of arriving to the elderly woman’s house. The mood changes from unknown dark surroundings to something more settle. The use of the five senses come to mind once again and we get an insight of what he cultivated that evening. The words themselves are vivid, full of thought, rhyme and vibrant colors. This story told through poetic devices brings also one of those fairytale endings. Something happy which had a great impact on him.
One idea he puts into this, is the relation to the Caribbean and the plants comparison to she (the lady) who is the creator and the stories are her creations.