Friday, March 28, 2014

Amazon's Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott's life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town's Methodist school. After studying at St. Mary's College in his native island and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he has worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays. Read more:

This is a review for Selected Poems by Derek Walcott - This really is a wonderful anthology. Baugh is to be congratulated for his selection of Walcott poems. What is most impressive about this book is the remarkable consistency of superb and characteristic poetry from the beginnings of Walcott's career to more recent work. The themes of exile, Walcott's ambivalent relationship with the European canon, and the nature of colonialism run throughout the work. Much of this work is autobiographical, presenting Walcott's remarkable ability to translate personal experience into beautiful language and universal themes. Read more:

This is a review for Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays by Derek Walcott - I had to order this book for a class and was not really looking forward to reading it, however, I must say the plays are EXCELLENT. There is a reason Walcott has been so well received among the literary world. These plays are interesting and very imaginative, plus Walcott always gives your vocabulary a good work out! Read more:

This is a review for Tiepolo's Hound by Derek Walcott - Derek Walcott has always confessed his ambitions to be a painter of note.While poetry became his favourite wife, his love for painting never disappeared. Over the years he has continued to paint, and his art now decorates the covers of his poetry collections. "Tiepolo's Hound" seems one of the least personal of Walcott's books. While we get glimpses of the poet's life, he is more concerned to explore the life of Camille Pisarro to understand the heart of the individual bound to the calling of artist. It seems a tentative, searching exploration.Obviously identifying with their common Caribbean childhood and the influences of landscape and history they share, Walcott tries to see into the complex struggles of this artist who left the Caribbean for Paris, to become one of the fathers of impressionism.Seeking his epiphanic hound,he shares with us the painters who excited his artistic inspiration. Alongside his rhyming couplets he has placed twenty six of his own paintings-some very good, others less so.It is rare to find a book like this, coffetable poetry and art together by the same artist. Now seventy, this Nobel Laureate is not afraid to share his meditations on art and poetry-through art and poetry-warts and all.A collector's item.Walcott's readers must be patient with him, and try to go with him as he charts, quite bravely,his questionings of the artist's commitment and the cost."Whatever the age is, it lies in the small spring of poetry everywhere"(p66).A defining comment.Read "poetry" as the very heart of all art. Read more:

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