Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

A Far Cry from Africa Summary & Analysis
by Derek Walcott

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

Derek Walcott's 1962 poem "A Far Cry From Africa" responds to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, a guerrilla war fought by native Kenyans against British colonists from 1952-1960. The speaker—implied to be from a colony, just as Walcott himself was—has both African and English heritage. Although the speaker hates colonial rule, he also bristles against the gruesomeness of the rebellion, creating a feeling of deep ambivalence and confusion regarding his loyalties. Ultimately, the poem treats both the violence in Kenya and the speaker's own conflicted identity as part of the legacy of colonialism. Rather than finding a way out of this legacy, the speaker expresses the deep pain it persistently causes.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “A Far Cry from Africa” as a printable PDF.
Download