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Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize Poet & Playwright Dies at 87

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    January 23, 1930, Castries, Saint Lucia
    Died: March 17, 2017, Saint Lucia
    NYtimes obit

    Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died early Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia. He was 87.

    BBC obit

    His great skill, and gift to literature, was the way in which he used his unique poetic voice to explore and explain the world from a largely unseen perspective.
    He was never parochial or nationalistic, quite the opposite in fact. Derek Walcott was a master at using the specific to identify common ground and universal themes, illuminating both the individual and the collective.

    Walcott wrote dozens of books of poetry and plays, among them his epic poem Omeros and his Obie-winning drama, Dream on Monkey Mountain.

  • 1aDerekMarkStrand
    (Mark Strand, Joseph Brodsky, Adam Zagajewski, and Derek Walcott in Brodsky’s garden)

    via

  • 1aDerekWallcot
    Seen here with Seamus Heaney in Dún Laoghaire DART station, 1989 [photo: Matt Kavanagh]

    Brilliant poets find one another: their world is very small even though their influence is wide and deep. Being a self-described “country boy” didn’t mean that Derek was cut off from so-called literary society. Derek’s closest poet friends, the Russian-born Joseph Brodsky and Irish poet Seamus Heaney, wrote about the pain and fascinating distance and longing that comes with being in exile.

    A Mighty Poet has died (New Yorker)

    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.
    Derek Walcott

  • Moring Paramin Derek Walcott and Peter Doig (See art by Peter Doig)

  • 1aDerekSontag

    Photograph: From left: Tatyana Tolstaya; Mark Strand; Susan Sontag; Richard Locke, chairman of the School of the Arts Writing Division, and Derek Walcott.

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