From Library Journal
Walcott has written nine books of poetry, beginning with 25 Poems (printed in St. Lucia in 1948) and ending with Midsummer ( LJ 1/84). In Collected Poems , Walcott offers us generous selections from all his books, especially Sea Grapes ( LJ 8/76), and he adds the entire text of Another Life (1974), his autobiography in verse and a tribute to the formative influences of the island of St. Lucia. Walcott is a superb stylist who leaves his signature in complex chains of imagery: "The rain falls like knives/ on the kitchen floor./ The sky's heavy drawer was pulled out too suddenly." Collected Poems will certainly rank as one of the important poetry titles of 1986, and no poetry collection will be complete without it. Strongly recommended. Daniel L. Guillory, English Dept., Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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One of the most instructive experiences afforded by this collected edition is the spectacle of a poet moving with gradually deepening confidence to found his own poetic domain, independent of the tradition he inherited yet not altogether orphaned from it . . . This is a triumphant book. (Seamus Heaney, The Boston Globe
It is difficult to think of a poet in our century who--without ever betraying his native sources--has so organically assimilated the evolution of English literature from the Renaissance to the present, who has absorbed the Classical and Judeo-Christian past, and who has mined the history of Western painting as Walcott has. Throughout his entire body of work he has managed to hold in balance his passionate moral concerns with the ideal of art. By his fifty-fifth year Derek Walcott has made his culture, history, and sociology into a myth for our age and into an epic song that has already taken its place in the history of Western literature. (Peter Balakian, Poetry