Monday 26 October, 2020

Top works of Derek Walcott who died today

Born in Castries, St Lucia in 1930, he died at his home in St Lucia aged 87.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

Walcott began his publishing his works at just 14, a 44 line poem called ‘1944’. At 18 he self-published a collection of 25 poems.

The British writer Robert Graves said Walcott handles “English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most  - if not any- of his English-born contemporaries.

Russian and American poet and essayist gives Joseph Brodsky said of Walcott, “He gives us more than himself or a ‘world’, he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language.”

Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion called Walcott  “a wise and generous and brilliant man.”

Walcott took infinite pride in his Caribbean roots and was a champion of Caribbean literature. His world view came from Caribbean eyes.

Jamaica Kincaid pointed to his ability to use the Caribbean landscape that once stood for the oppression and destruction of indigenous people and culture, as inspiration for rebirth and hope.

The great British novelist Salman Rushdie said of Walcott, “The greatest living English language poet: erudite, incantatory, precise… blending Caribbean, classical and American rhythms into a music all his own.”

Walcott left some notable quotes, words to live by. These nuggets include:

“The English language is noboby’s special property. It is the property of the imagination; it is the  property of the language itself.

Then there is his observation….. “ the truest writers are those who see language not as linguistic process but as a living element…”

And the advise for us all…. “ Feast on your own life.”

Here are some of Derek Walcott’s notable works :

In a Green Light: Poems 1948-1960
 White Egrets
 Tiepolo’s Hound
 The Prodigal
 Sea Grapes
The Bounty
Three Plays
The Joker of Seville & O Babylon
Walker and The Ghost Dance: Plays
Another Life
The Dual Muse
The Fortunate Traveller
The Arkansas Testament
The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013
Marie La Veau and Steel   

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