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What The Twilight Says: Essays
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What The Twilight Says: Essays

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Derek Walcott's identity as a poet is evident even in his literary criticism. Who else would produce a sentence such as "Let the shaggy, long horde of spiky letters and the dark rumbling of hexametrical phalanxes rise over the outback towards the capital of the English language" to describe the work of a fellow poet--in this case, Australian Les Murray? Indeed, each of the ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published November 2nd 1998 by Faber & Faber (first published 1998)
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Claire
Feb 16, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this having read some of Walcott's poetry for my postcolonialism class. There was something so enchanting and beautiful about his poetry that I wanted to explore more. And because of reading this I now want to read all of the poetry ever... It's just one big circle of always wanting to read more!
Magda
Feb 27, 2011 Magda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The original language dissolves from the exhaustion of distance like fog trying to cross an ocean, but this process of renaming, of finding new metaphors, is the same process that the poet faces every morning of his working day, making his own tools like Crusoe, assembling nouns from necessity, from Felicity, even renaming himself. The stripped man is driven back to that self-astonishing, elemental force, his mind. That is the basis of the Antillean experience, this shipwreck of fragments, these ...more
Val
Sep 27, 2014 Val rated it really liked it
The collection of essays covers musings on history and colonialism, literary influences and a story. The title essay was the most helpful for me in understanding Derek Walcott's poetry, as it shows his thoughts and preoccupations, if you will forgive the cliche, 'where he is coming from' and his search for a truly West Indian identity, separate from both that of the European colonial powers and an idealised tribal Africa. It is also the most finely nuanced, the furthest from my own experience an ...more
Elizabeth Adams
Jul 09, 2012 Elizabeth Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much liked Walcott's reflections on fellow poets and writers, particularly the essays on Robert Lowell, Robert Frost, and Joseph Brodsky. The rest of the book held less interest for me.
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Derek Walcott is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, St. Lucia, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment."

His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time
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“To set out for rehearsals in that quivering quarter-hour is to engage conclusions, not beginnings, for one walks past the guilded hallucinations of poverty with a corrupt resignation touched by details, as if the destitute, in their orange-tinted back yards, under their dusty trees, or climbing into their favelas, were all natural scene designers and poverty were not a condition but an art. Deprivation is made lyrical, and twilight, with the patience of alchemy, almost transmutes despair into virtue. In the tropics nothing is lovelier than the allotments of the poor, no theater is as vivid, voluble, and cheap.” 8 likes
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