By Susan Ring, Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
A set of severe essays speak about the works of the Trinidadian writer.
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Additional info for Derek Walcott (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
This seems to me Walcott at this most natural, worldly, and accomplished. The Latinity enters the ear without affectation, the mirror image of a beaked pen and the beaks of birds rivets the stanza together, and no labored effects of unnatural diction mar the lines. Ovid sums up the predicament of the educated colonial poet writing in the language of Empire: “... ” Walcott’s steady ironies and his cultivated detachment in the midst of a personal plight make him an observer to be reckoned with: he will remain for 32 HELEN VENDLER this century one of its most candid narrators of the complicated and even desperate destiny of the man of great sensibility and talent born in a small colonial outpost, educated far beyond the standard of his countrymen, and pitched—by sensibility, talent, and education—into an isolation that deepens with every word he writes (regardless of the multitude by whom he is read).
A man no more / but the fervour and intelligence / of a whole country” (Another Life).
In general, however, he gravitates to a lyrical monologue and to a narrative. That, and the tendency to write in cycles, as well as his verse plays, again suggest an epic streak in this poet, and perhaps it’s time to take him up on that. For almost forty years his throbbing and relentless lines kept arriving in the English language like tidal waves, coagulating into an archipelago of poems without which the map of modern literature would effectively match wallpaper. He gives us more than himself or “a world”; he gives us a sense of inﬁnity embodied in the 42 JOSEPH BRODSKY language as well as in the ocean which is always present in his poems: as their background or foreground, as their subject, or as their meter.
Derek Walcott (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Susan Ring, Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom