Neil's Reviews > White Egrets

White Egrets by Derek Walcott
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Apr 03, 2010

it was amazing

If Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 mainly for ‘Omeros’, then ‘White Egrets’ makes the case for the awarding of a second Nobel. It’s much shorter than ‘Omeros’, yet the level of sophistication in the text, playfulness, transnational sensibility, and inventive poetics surprised me given the tendency of Nobel recipients to flounder after receiving their prize. There may be theories as to the timing of this collection: one is Walcott’s older age; another is as a response to the debacle leading to Walcott’s unsuccessful bid for Chair of poetry at Oxford. I can neither speak to nor defend Walcott’s personal persona. I also resist calling him a modern Homer because that assumes Homer is the highest standard of poetics rather than the reverse. Walcott here is simply Walcott.
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