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Derek Walcott

Rookie (23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Quotations

  • ''Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), West Indian poet, playwright. "Dissolving the Sigh of History," Guardian (London, Dec. 16, 1992).
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  • ''The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), West Indian poet, playwright. Interview in Writers at Work, Eighth Series, ed. George Plimpton (1988).
  • ''I come from a place that likes grandeur; it likes large gestures; it is not inhibited by flourish; it is a rhetorical society; it is a society of physical performance; it is a society of style.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), West Indian poet, playwright. Interview in Writers at Work, Eighth Series, ed. George Plimpton (1988).
  • ''Any serious attempt to try to do something worthwhile is ritualistic.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), West Indian poet, playwright. Interview in Writers at Work, Eighth Series, ed. George Plimpton (1988).

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The Glory Trumpeter

Old Eddie's face, wrinkled with river lights,
Looked like a Mississippi man's. The eyes,
Derisive and avuncular at once,
Swivelling, fixed me. They'd seen
Too many wakes, too many cathouse nights.
The bony, idle fingers on the valves
Of his knee-cradled horn could tear
Through 'Georgia on My Mind' or 'Jesus Saves'
With the same fury of indifference,

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