- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Format: Hardback | 617 pages
- Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 46mm | 1,021g
- Publication date: 21 January 2014
- ISBN 10: 0374125619
- ISBN 13: 9780374125615
- Sales rank: 308,944
A collection spanning the whole of Derek Walcott's celebrated, inimitable, essential career "He gives us more than himself or 'a world'; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language." Alongside Joseph Brodsky's words of praise one might mention the more concrete honors that the renowned poet Derek Walcott has received: a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry; the Nobel Prize in Literature. "The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948"-"2013" draws from every stage of the poet's storied career. Here are examples of his very earliest work, like "In My Eighteenth Year," published when the poet himself was still a teenager; his first widely celebrated verse, like "A Far Cry from Africa," which speaks of violence, of loyalties divided in one's very blood; his mature work, like "The Schooner Flight" from "The Star-Apple Kingdom"; and his late masterpieces, like the tender "Sixty Years After," from the 2010 collection "White Egrets. "Across sixty-five years, Walcott grapples with the themes that have defined his work as they have defined his life: the unsolvable riddle of identity; the painful legacy of colonialism on his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia; the mysteries of faith and love and the natural world; the Western canon, celebrated and problematic; the trauma of growing old, of losing friends, family, one's own memory. This collection, selected by Walcott's friend the English poet Glyn Maxwell, will prove as enduring as the questions, the passions, that have driven Walcott to write for more than half a century.
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Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, numerous plays, and a book of essays. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. Glyn Maxwell was born in Welwyn Garden City, England. He is the author of several collections of poems, has staged several plays in London and New York, and was the poetry editor of "The New Republic" from 2001 to 2007. He lives in London.
"No poet rivals Mr. Walcott in humor, emotional depth, lavish inventiveness in language or in the ability to express the thoughts of his characters and compel the reader to follow the swift mutations of ideas and images in their minds . . . [His poetry] makes us realize that history, all of it, belongs to us." --"The New York Times Book Review"