Le loupgarou is about old women who talked about a man(le bran) who wanted to have fortune so he made a deal with the devilbut the devil tricked him a took his soul and gave him poisoned fruit to sell that sickened the towns people and part of the devil”s trick was that the man turned into le loupgarou every night.
In this poem, the Ol’ Higue tells of her frustration with her lifestyle. She does not like the fact that she sometimes has to parade around, in the form of a fireball, without her skin at night. She explains that she has to do this in order to scare people, as well as to acquire baby blood. She explains that she would rather acquire this blood via cooked food, like every-one else. Her worst complaint is the pain of salt, as well as having to count rice grains. She exhibits some regret for her lifestyle but implies that she cannot resist a baby’s smell, as well as it’s pure blood. The ‘newness’ of the baby tempts the Ol’ Higue, and she cannot resist because she is an old woman who fears death, which can only be avoided by consuming the baby’s blood. She affirms her usefulness in the scheme of things, however, by claiming that she provides mothers with a name for their fears (this being the death of a child), as well as some-one to blame when the evil that they wish for their child, in moments of tired frustration, is realized. She implies that she will never die, so long as women keep having babies.
Poems: ‘Ol’ Higue’ and ‘Le Loupgarou’
The what – Content:
Theme – The supernatural, stories used to explain unknown or phenomena. Beliefs held by society custom – culture Ol’ Higue – name given to woman who haunts babies – this results in sickness or death. Practices govern how this situation is treated – use of salt, rice grain and the sun. This belief has held its root and will not go away – because as long as babies get sick and die – blame will be cast on Ol Higue. The Form – Layout of poem
3 stanzas written in free verse – this facilitates the type of poem – dramatic monologue – persona’s expression of her feelings. This also allows for introspection as well as involvement of the reader/listener to participate in the situation. The How – Structure
Diction – use of colloquial and expression relating to society eg. ‘dry-up woman’ Movements among and within paragraphs – reader/listener invited to sympathize with her pleading to listeners – then to justification of actions – acceptance of relevance to society and mothers. Use of punctuation and lineation – question marks, ellipsis, exclamation – facilitates the dramatic monologue style, supports the changes in emotions and the need for the listener/reader to see from her point of view. Use of imagery – ‘few drops of baby blood’ blood running in new veins, ‘fly come’(literal and figurative) ‘Believe me-‘short line – to prepare the reader and solidify what is to come – an acceptable truth. See Notes on English B pg. 32-33
Comparison to other poem
‘Le Loupgarou’ – a sonnet – hence more structure is evident in terms of lineation, rhyme scheme Use of end and eye rhymes, poem divided into an octave and sestet Delving in the world of the supernatural – a realistic situation – a man Le Brun – being used and told as something supernatural. Story told as a rumour – section about him turning into a werewolf – this is to both facilitate the extent of his actions what happened to him and the women’s dislike of him. Use of imagery and literary devices – oxymoron ‘Christian witches’ howled and lugged. Both poems Caribbean in nature – custom and tradition – affects practices done and treatment given to and by people. Ol’Higue’s story facilitates the mothers’ explanation for the unexplained (sick or dead baby) – while the story of Le Brun and what has been added on by the women – facilitates their gossip and what the community holds on to.
You will observe that both poems deal with the supernatural. The Soucouyant is the counterpart of the Le Loupgarou.
They both make a pact with the devil to engage in mysterious and fiendish dealings.
They both are greedy and are ruined through their greed.
They both evoke fear in the people around them.
Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott’s life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town’s Methodist school. After studying at St. Mary’s College in his native island and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he has worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays. Walcott has been an assiduous traveller to other countries but has always, not least in his efforts to create an indigenous drama, felt himself deeply-rooted in Caribbean society with its cultural fusion of African, Asiatic and European elements. For many years, he has divided his time between Trinidad, where he has his home as a writer, and Boston University, where he teaches literature and creative writing. From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1991-1995, Editor Sture All�n, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997 This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.