A collection spanning the whole of Derek Walcott's celebrated, inimitable, essential career "He gives us more than himself or ‘a world'; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language." Alongside Joseph Brodsky's words of praise one might mention the more concrete honors that the renowned poet Derek Walcott has received: a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry; the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948–2013 draws from every stage of the poet's storied career. Here are examples of his very earliest work, like "In My Eighteenth Year," published when the poet himself was still a teenager; his first widely celebrated verse, like "A Far Cry from Africa," which speaks of violence, of loyalties divided in one's very blood; his mature work, like "The Schooner Flight" from The Star-Apple Kingdom; and his late masterpieces, like the tender "Sixty Years After," from the 2010 collection White Egrets. Across sixty-five years, Walcott grapples with the themes that have defined his work as they have defined his life: the unsolvable riddle of identity; the painful legacy of colonialism on his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia; the mysteries of faith and love and the natural world; the Western canon, celebrated and problematic; the trauma of growing old, of losing friends, family, one's own memory. This collection, selected by Walcott's friend the English poet Glyn Maxwell, will prove as enduring as the questions, the passions, that have driven Walcott to write for more than half a century.
Drawing from every stage of his career, Derek Walcott's Selected Poems brings together famous pieces from his early volumes, including "A Far Cry from Africa" and "A City's Death by Fire," with passages from the celebrated Omeros and selections from his latest major works, which extend his contributions to reenergizing the contemporary long poem. Here we find all of Walcott's essential themes, from grappling with the Caribbean's colonial legacy to his conflicted love of home and of Western literary tradition; from the wisdom-making pain of time and mortality to the strange wonder of love, the natural world, and what it means to be human. We see his lifelong labor at poetic crafts, his broadening of the possibilities of rhyme and meter, stanza forms, language, and metaphor. Edited and with an introduction by the Jamaican poet and critic Edward Baugh, this volume is a perfect representation of Walcott's breadth of work, spanning almost half a century.
Derek Walcott was aptly described by Laurence Liberman in The Yale Review as "one of the handful of brilliant historic mythologists of our day." Sea Grapes deepens with this major poet's search for true images of the post-Adamic "new world"--especially those of his native Caribbean culture. Walcott's rich and vital naming of the forms of island life is complemented by poems set in America and England, by inward-turning meditations, and by invocations of other poets--Osip Mandelstam, Walt Whitman, Frank O'Hara, James Wright, and Pablo Neruda. On the publication of Selected Poems in 1963, Robert Graves wrote, "Derek Walcott handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most (if not any) of his English-born contemporaries." This collection of new poems in every way confirms Walcott's mastery. He is also the author of The Gulf, Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays, and Another Life.
Author : Robert D. Hamner
ISBN : UOM:39015033104863
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 87.10 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Since Robert D. Hamner's first edition of this study of Derek Walcott appeared in 1981, the great West Indian dramatist and poet has published a new collection of plays and five additional poetry volumes - including the acclaimed book-length poem Omeros (1990). Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, Walcott has won international recognition during the past decade, showing himself to be, as Hamner demonstrates in these meticulous readings of all his major works, "provocative, stimulating, one of the most complete poets now writing in the English language." Hamner sets the geographical, cultural, and literary contexts for Walcott's achievement, establishing themes that flow throughout this chronological study as Walcott travels between the Caribbean and the U.S., crossing boundaries of race and region. Advancing the tradition of other Caribbean poets Saint-John Perse and Aime Cesaire, Hamner shows, Walcott has developed his native land's vast poetic resources to a level that transcends regional labels: he pursues the roots of his ancestry in all directions, masters classical high seriousness as well as the earthiest vernacular, defies racial and political allegiances, has developed a singular aesthetic style, and absorbs influence from poets ranging from Robert Lowell to Homer. Beginning with Walcott's apprenticeship years and continuing through his receipt of the 1992 Nobel Prize, Hamner traces the writer's development with intensive critical explorations of his poems and plays - their creation, content, style, themes, and critical reception. Highlights include discussion of Walcott's 1958 Rockefeller fellowship in New York; his founding of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, which premiered his plays for over a decade; and analyses of Dream on Monkey Mountain (Obie 1971); the autobiographical poem Another Life (1973); O Babylon (1976), on Jamaica's Rastafarian culture; the verse collections Sea Grapes (1976) and The Star-Apple Kingdom (1979); The Fortunate Traveller (1981); Collected poems, 1948-1984 (1986); and many other works. As his readings culminate, Hamner illuminates the emergence of Walcott's mature style - his abandonment of his pervasive Crusoe heroes for the Odysseus hero that figures so prominently in Omeros - and his poetic use of the dynamic between the U.S. and the Caribbean. Throughout, Hamner integrates quotes from today's most important critics and evaluates their assessments of Walcott's work.