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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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).
  • ''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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Best Poem of Derek Walcott

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Read the full of Love After Love
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