The poet, one of our very own from the village of St. Joseph, is the author of some great local writings. The one most captivating to me that I have read so far is the poem “Fly”.
And when you open your beautiful wings
Shelter my body
From the heat
That falls over it.
And carry me on your open wings,
Away from this depressed land
That sends me raging.
And take me with you.
And take me to your nesting place
Atop those green mountains
Where I will find peace
Where I will be happy.
And take me away with you.
And take me on your wings
Above those beautiful white clouds
To a place of sanity
A place of peace.
Fly and take me where you will.
Carry me with you.
Take me away
Where I won’t be lonely and depressed
For I’ll find you there
To help me along.
Come, open your wings
Take me away
For I want to be free.
Free from the shackles,
Free from the ills of society,
Free from the problems that confront me
On this Land.
The poet mentioned that growing up as a child he was always in close touch with nature so it’s no surprise that the poem relates he starts off with sunny scenery which is more than common for us in the Caribbean.
The persona seems to be speaking a non-human, that may be less judgemental and more compassionate than a human, like himself, possibly he could be referring to God or a bird. A bird is usually thought to symbolize freedom. It gives a sense of a longing or hope for freedom,an escape, “away from this depressed land that sends me raging”. It seems that the progress of his country is too slow and life is too hard.
We all have our own idea of a peaceful place and the speaker wants to be atop green mountains surrounded by nature. We can understand where he’s coming from since we may have experienced the calming effect of getting lost in nature.
Going above the white clouds could refer to the heavens above where there is utmost peace. Then he goes on channeling more emotions being frank about the depression and loneliness as well as saying “for i’ll find you there to help me along”.As stated earlier, he’s probably referring to God and implying that he feels safety and comfort in his care that he can’t with humans.
Throughout our lives we seek freedom from something, someone or somewhere. A freedom as great as a bird’s ability to soar above clouds. This brings me to my favorite lines derived from the last stanza:
“Take me away
For I want to be free
Free from the shackles
Free from the ills of society
Free from the problems that confront me on this land.”
What I get from this is an allusion from slavery days, a sense of desire for emancipation. Freedom from the drilling of how it is thought that we should live our lives, the constant judgement and corruption in society and the struggles faced in day to day life.
It’s good that you can get precise imagery as you read the poem and the fact that pretty much anyone can connect to it through personal experiences and emotions. There is a consistency with the the title of the poem, simultaneously creating a steady flow throughout the poem. However, he could’ve gone in depth and maybe give a more detailed situation which led to the depressed mood and the feeling of bondage to create greater connection with the readers.
Also, this piece may be frowned upon by some who may view it as painting a poor picture of a country. Generally, it is quite a relatable and powerful poem. At times, even I feel like getting on some wings and flying away.