What Does ‘drift’ Mean In “Calypso Drift”?

Jul7

What Does ‘drift’ Mean In “Calypso Drift”?

First read about the concept of the drift in the poems of American poet Walt Whitman. Where I come from in the Caribbean the drifter is usually described as a dwivayèz in the Kweyol language. Now this is one who wanders but surely not aimlessly. She/he just allows her/himself to flow. A bit of this is discussed in “As She Returns Now,” where the drifter/dwivayèz gets to know where the mangos are ripe, where the pools have developed in rivers, where guavas are in abundance. In Whitman, this idea of the drifter is there somehow like the French flaneur. He does not simply drift. He notices, picks up bits of ideas to construct a tapestry for his reflection. Still further, the drift in “Calypso Drift” represents a way of reading where the reader immerses herself in the text and listens to its subtleties, indeed, listens for her own intuitions. Beneath that word that jumps at you is a huge idea, a leap, the drift!

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