Drawing from every stage of his career, this volume collects selected poems from Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott's lifetime of work.
Walcott's Selected Poems brings together famous pieces from his early volumes, including "A Far Cry from Africa" and "A City's Death by Fire," with passages from the celebrated Omeros and selections from his later major works, which extend his contributions to reenergizing the contemporary long poem.
Here we find all of Walcott's essential themes, from grappling with the Caribbean's colonial legacy to his conflicted love of home and of Western literary tradition; from the wisdom-making pain of time and mortality to the strange wonder of love, the natural world, and what it means to be human. We see his lifelong labor at poetic crafts, his broadening of the possibilities of rhyme and meter, stanza forms, language, and metaphor.
Edited and with an introduction by the Jamaican poet and critic Edward Baugh, this volume is a perfect representation of Walcott's breadth of work, spanning almost half a century.
About the Author
Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000). His numerous plays include The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.
"The magnitude of Walcott's achievement . . . is on lavish display in his updated Selected Poems, which spans a half-century of his protean output and highlights the formal prowess of the progressively ambitious work he's produced over the last twenty years . . . confirming the incantatory powers of an oracle the likes of which the New World hasn't seen since Prospero drowned his book." --David Barber, The Boston Globe
"Selected Poems allows us the rare pleasure of tracing a long career, a full life . . . Timeless in [its] magic and cumulative power . . . Luminous [and] engaging." --Richard Wakefield, The Seattle Times