Attempt a critical analysis of the poem “Stone” by Brathwaite.

The poet assumes the persona of Mikey Smith to present the last moments of his life when he was stoned to death. Nature assumes a predatory aspect, the sky is first called threatening or “johncrow” and then later, when the stone comes flying through it, “red sea sky.” I think here the allusion is to the waters of the Red Sea parting to allow the Israelites to pass through and then closing in to drown the Pharaoh’s soldiers pursuing them.

Besides the Biblical allusion the colour “red” also assumes symbolic significance because of the perpetration of violence on the individual whose thoughts constitute the poem. Before the stone hit him there was no darkness but rather a feeling of peace, almost ecstasy, which is compard to a microcosmic view of the world reflected in a drop of water as it falls from the sky.

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