poet Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott

#23 on top 500 poets

Pentecost

Better a jungle in the head
than rootless concrete.
Better to stand bewildered
by the fireflies' crooked street;

winter lamps do not show
where the sidewalk is lost,
nor can these tongues of snow
speak for the Holy Ghost;

the self-increasing silence
of words dropped from a roof
points along iron railings,
direction, in not proof.

But best is this night surf
with slow scriptures of sand,
that sends, not quite a seraph,
but a late cormorant,

whose fading cry propels
through phosphorescent shoal
what, in my childhood gospels,
used to be called the Soul.

Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010
Poem Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2011

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Comments about Pentecost by Derek Walcott

  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (6/23/2020 1:57:00 PM)

    Better a jungle in the head
    than rootless concrete.
    Better to stand bewildered
    by the fireflies' crooked street; the very first verses attracted my attention. thank you. t ony

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  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (7/25/2019 11:10:00 PM)

    I like Walcott's religious allusions in 'Pentecost'. They give the poem a whole new dimension.

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Rating Card

2,7 out of 5
25 total ratings
rate this poem



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