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The Arkansas Testament
     

The Arkansas Testament

by Derek Walcott
 

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Derek Walcott's eighth collection of poems, The Arkansas Testament, is divided into two parts--"Here," verse evoking the poet's native Caribbean, and "Elsewhere." It opens with six poems in quatrains whose memorable, compact lines further Walcott's continuous effort to crystallize images of the Caribbean landscape and people.

For several years, Derek

Overview

Derek Walcott's eighth collection of poems, The Arkansas Testament, is divided into two parts--"Here," verse evoking the poet's native Caribbean, and "Elsewhere." It opens with six poems in quatrains whose memorable, compact lines further Walcott's continuous effort to crystallize images of the Caribbean landscape and people.

For several years, Derek Walcott has lived mainly in the United States. "The Arkansas Testament," one of the book's long poems, is a powerful confrontation of changing allegiances. The poem's crisis is the taking on of an extra history, one that challenges unquestioning devotion.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Despite its title, this is another evocation of Walcott's St. Lucia, a Caribbean paradise of whelk-gatherers, sea grapes, and sugar cane where the poet reads ``silvery nouns'' and deciphers ``scriptures of sand.'' Walcott is again the consummate phrasemaker, describing a night ``with white rum on its breath'' and a moon ``with a birthmark like Gorbachev's head.'' He includes a sequence of poignant love poems and concludes with the title poem, a painful examination of the visiting black poet's role in an Arkansas where he ``was still nothing.'' In language that is unfailingly fresh and inventive, Walcott reminds us in every poem that a largely unexperienced world exists just ``outside the door.'' Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374520991
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/28/1988
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000). His numerous plays include The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

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