Derek Walcott

Rookie (23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Derek Walcott
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Derek Walcott OBE OCC is a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer and visual artist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 and the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2011 for White Egrets. His works include the Homeric epic Omeros. Robert Graves wrote that Walcott "handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most, if not any, of his contemporaries”.

Life

Early Life

Walcott was born and raised in Castries, Saint Lucia, in the West Indies with a twin brother, the future playwright Roderick Walcott, and a sister. His mother, a teacher, had a love of the arts who would often recite poetry. His father, who painted and wrote poetry, ... more »

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Derek Walcott Quotations

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  • ''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).
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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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Best Poem of Derek Walcott

Midsummer, Tobago

Broad sun-stoned beaches.

White heat.
A green river.

A bridge,
scorched yellow palms

from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.

Days I have held,
days I have lost,

days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

Read the full of Midsummer, Tobago
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