Derek Walcott

(23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Derek Walcott
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Derek Walcott OBE OCC is a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer and visual artist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 and the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2011 for White Egrets. His works include the Homeric epic Omeros. Robert Graves wrote that Walcott "handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most, if not any, of his contemporaries”.


Early Life

Walcott was born and raised in Castries, Saint Lucia, in the West Indies with a twin brother, the future playwright Roderick Walcott, and a sister. His mother, a teacher, had a love of the arts who would often recite poetry. His father, who painted and wrote poetry, ... more »

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  • ''Statistics justify and scholars seize
    The salients of colonial policy.
    What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
    To savages, expendable as Jews?''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), Carribbean poet. A Far Cry from Africa (l. 7-10). . . Collected Poems, 1948-1984 [Derek Walcott]. (1986) Farrar, Straus a...
  • ''A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
    Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
    Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), Carribbean poet. A Far Cry from Africa (l. 1-3). . . Collected Poems, 1948-1984 [Derek Walcott]. (1986) Farrar, Straus an...
  • I who have cursed
    The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
    Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
    Betray them both, or give back what they give?
    How can ...
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), Carribbean poet. A Far Cry from Africa (l. 28-33). . . Collected Poems, 1948-1984 [Derek Walcott]. (1986) Farrar, Straus ...
  • ''Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
    Upon the napkin of a dirty cause,''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), Carribbean poet. A Far Cry from Africa (l. 22-23). . . Collected Poems, 1948-1984 [Derek Walcott]. (1986) Farrar, Straus ...
  • ''Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.''
    Derek Walcott (b. 1930), West Indian poet, playwright. "Dissolving the Sigh of History," Guardian (London, Dec. 16, 1992).
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  • Trisha Gustave (12/19/2012 1:56:00 PM)

    A Far Cry From Africa is one of the best Caribbean poems I have ever read. It expresses in words, my thoughts about our Caribbean ancestral background. Dereck Walcott inspires me with his amazing writing style and I believe that his work is a marvelous accomplishment.

  • Jill Paterson (1/16/2007 8:28:00 PM)

    I must say that Derek Walcott unlocks a different door in Caribbean poetry. Not only does he expose our history and heritage but he does so with an ornate yet down-to-earth artisitc style. I have studied Olive Senior and Martin Carter not to mention his greatest 'oponent' Edward Brathwaite and somehow Walcott's poems tend to offer a more captivating appeal.

  • Simone Solon (3/16/2005 7:57:00 AM)

    I've only just discovered Derek Walcott and it is such a pleasure to come across a poet of this calibre that I haven't read before. I don't understand half of it - but that's half the wonder of it!

  • Tatianna Kringle (1/12/2005 4:55:00 PM)

    i think its great that you guys have all of these poets on here because i had an english clkass project on poets and i wanted to do a west indian poet because i am from the west indies..

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