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Selected Poems

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Drawing from every stage ofthe Nobel laureate'scareer, Derek 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 latest major works, which extend his contributions to reenergizing the contemporary long poem. Here we fin...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1964)
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Paula
Nice collection of a lifetime of work. Many of Walcott's poems are very long, so excerpts are taken from those. The occasional French was an impediment for me, but the lyrical qualities were nice. Walcott is detailed to a fault and brings color and energy to the scenes he depicts. People who prefer short, sparse poems will be overwhelmed by Walcott's epic lengths, but those who enjoy literary allusions will be in their element.
Val
I don't know much about poetry, but even I can tell that these are very good.
They are selected from Walcott's work over a lifetime and we can see how his style changed, becoming more accessible and apparently simpler over the years. I suspect that writing a simple, accessible poem requires more skill. He brings many influences into his poems, this is fusion poetry not vernacular, evolving not fixed in some theoretical concept of roots. One quote from Walcott expresses that as,
'Break a vase, and...more
Salvatore
I'm now a fan. Curious that in this collection, Walcott moves from free verse to rhyme as he ages, with more self-awareness and less immediately striking material. And that longform narrative becomes more important in his poetry. I'm converted.
Jackie
Love after Love ~ Derek Walcott ~

The time will come / When, with elation, / you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror, / and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate not...more
Andrew
The first poem in this collection is already into Dante, so I'm a big fan of that. I've found that Walcott's poetry is deceptively simple at times. I've had to read, and re-read poems to push beyond my first perception. I'd leave the poem saying yeah, that was the right interpretation wasn't it. Then I'd think about it for a second, and return to the poem and come up with a bit more. The poem would shift under my feet, and I'm pretty sure that Walcott designs them to do that - though I'm not sur...more
Louise Chambers
Walcott's poems are like reading a story; so different than the many short line contemporary poems.

It's a discipline and a wonderful one, allowing the lyrical quality of the poem's form to shine through. It was a bit like reading Shakespeare or Coleridge, the language is a bit "foreign" yet presses comfortably upon the ear and mind like a warm summer breeze.

I definitely want to check this one out again from the library, and to also check out some of Walcott's plays.
Frank
We went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon and Walcott won the nobel prize so I figured I should read his poetry while there. It was nice to go around the island and read the poems about places we were visiting. Also, interesting to note that Lauren is from Fayetville Arkansas and he has a whole series of poems about that.
Rashad Raoufi
its a combination of some very poweful poems, a nobel prize well deserved and he would have been amazing as oxford professor of poetry, its oxford's loss! some of the poems are so moving, others are unashamedly to the point, brilliant imagery and some nearly made me cry.
Tyler
Like some poems, bored by others, confused by others, hated others. I definitely liked this better than the modern/feminist type poets I studied simultaneously in my other English class fall semester 2013.

Favorites:
A Far Cry from Africa
Sea Grapes
Jeni
simply stunning, in breadth and depth. recommended in a talk by mark strand as almost categorically "the greatest living poet today," and while I admit I haven't read widely enough to share that endorsement, walcott is on my short (short) list.
Guang Tse
Walcott can make me cry. There, I said it.
Isaac
Finished the lions share of these. Derek Walcott is amazing and should stand higher on the literary pedestal then he does. I truly global writer, play-write and poet.
Marren
I just cannot shake off the negative bias for this collection because it made my Literature life miserable at A'Level.
Matthew Hittinger
It's hard to do a good selected for a poet who loves the epic.
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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...more
More about Derek Walcott...
Omeros Collected Poems, 1948-1984 White Egrets Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays The Prodigal: A Poem

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