The Best Books Coming Out This Week: The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013


The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013 spans the Nobel laureate’s long career, from 25 Poems, which he published as a teenager, to his latest collection, White Egrets. The collection is edited by the poet Glyn Maxwell, who once wrote of Walcott’s poetry: “The verse is constantly trembling with a sense of the body in time, the self slung across metre, whether metre is steps, or nights, or breath, whether lines are days, or years, or tides.” Walcott is at his greatest when he writes about the sea — which he does constantly — as in a section fromThe Prodigal:

“When we were boys coming home from the beach,

it used to be such a thing! The body would be singing

with salt, the sunlight hummed through the skin

and a fierce thirst made iced water

a gasping benediction, and in the plated heat,

stones scorched the soles, and the cored dove hid

in the heat-limp leaves, and we left the sand

to its mutterings, and the long, cool canoes.”

For the original report go to

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