White Egrets
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White Egrets

by Derek Walcott
     
 

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A DAZZLING NEW COLLECTION FROM ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT POETS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In White Egrets, Derek Walcott treats the characteristic subjects of his career—the Caribbean's complex colonial legacy, his love of the Western literary tradition, the wisdom that comes through the passing of time, the always strange

Overview

A DAZZLING NEW COLLECTION FROM ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT POETS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In White Egrets, Derek Walcott treats the characteristic subjects of his career—the Caribbean's complex colonial legacy, his love of the Western literary tradition, the wisdom that comes through the passing of time, the always strange joys of new love, and the sometimes terrifying beauty of the natural world—with an intensity and drive that recall his greatest work. Through the mesmerizing repetition of theme and imagery, Walcott creates an almost surflike cadence, broadening the possibilities of rhyme and meter, poetic form and language.

White Egrets is a moving new collection from one of the most important poets of the twentieth century—a celebration of the life and language of the West Indies. It is also a triumphant paean to beauty, love, art, and—perhaps most surprisingly—getting older.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“No poet rivals Mr. Walcott in humor, emotional depth, lavish inventiveness in language or in the ability to express the thoughts of his characters and compel the reader to follow the swift mutations of ideas and images in their minds . . . [His poetry] makes us realize that history, all of it, belongs to us.” —The New York Times Book Review on Derek Walcott
Library Journal
"We never know what memory will do—" says Nobel Prize winner Walcott, as he steps into the past in order to make sense of the present and find direction for the future. Walcott draws these new poems from the same wells that have served him in the past: his Caribbean roots, a love of the Western literary tradition, exotic travel, the wonders of nature, and love, both old and new, as well as the passage of time and the complications that attend age. It is the quest for new love, and the recognition of age, celebrated with grace and wisdom in a delightfully lyrical language, that lie at the heart of this collection: "What if all this passion is out of proportion to its subject?/ An average beauty, magnified to deific, demonic/ stature by the fury of intellect…/ that she should infect your day to the very marrow." VERDICT With this volume, Walcott reaffirms his place as one of the most interesting and important poets of our time. Highly recommended.—Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
Publishers Weekly
From Nobel Prize-winner Walcott comes a 14th collection of poems, richly textured in sound and image, and spanning many countries and memories. From his native Caribbean to Italy, Spain, England, the Netherlands, and the United States, Walcott meditates on the passage of time, fallen empires, bygone love affairs, and mortality. Throughout, in metrically complex verses, he writes about the vocation of the poet with a virtuosic ear and a painterly eye (Walcott is also an accomplished watercolor and oil painter): “my craft and my craft's thought make parallels/ from every object, the word and the shadow of the word/ makes a thing both itself and something else/ til we are metaphors and not ourselves/ in an empirical language that keeps growing.” Walcott describes a wistful search for home in these poems—”Silly to think of heritage when there isn't much,” he writes—while also expressing deep joy and thanks that he finds his true and permanent home in poetry. “This is poetry's weather,” he says of a rainy day in Venice, a lovely moment in a beautiful book. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374532703
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
03/15/2011
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,161,170
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

DEREK WALCOTT was born in St. Lucia in 1930. He is the author of eight collections of plays and a book of essays. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. White Egrets is his fourteenth collection of poems.

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