Saturday, March 18, 2017

Derek Walcott.- "A Far Cry From Africa" & "Love After Love" (poems)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about St. Lucian (Caribbean) poet, essayist, and playwright Derek Walcott.

Two of Derek Walcott's poems "A Far Cry From Africa" and "Love After Love" are showcased in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to Derek Walcott for his life's legacy. Rest in Peace.

Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

"Sir Derek Alton Walcott, KCSL OBE OCC (23 January 1930 – 17 March 2017) was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.[1] He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013. His works include the Homeric epic poem Omeros (1990), which many critics view "as Walcott's major achievement."[2] In addition to winning the Nobel Prize, Walcott received many literary awards over the course of his career, including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen's Medal for Poetry, the inaugural OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature,[3] the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry White Egrets[4] and the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry Lifetime Recognition Award in 2015."...

...."About his work, the poet Joseph Brodsky said, “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 language.”

Walcott’s honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Montale Prize, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and, in 1988, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. In 1992, Walcott became the first Caribbean writer to receive the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and in 2015, he received the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters."

SHOWCASE VIDEO: A Far Cry from Africa

Mark Richardson, Published on Oct 6, 2013

Derek Walcott reading his amazing poem A Far Cry from Africa. I found his audio recording on an old PC I have.... I claim no copyright to anything. I made this out of respect to Mr. Walcott. How can any of us turn from Africa and live?

(Derek Walcott, 1930 - 2017)

"A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
“Waste no compassion on these separate dead!”
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?

Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilization’s dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?

I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?"

“A Far Cry from Africa” from Selected Poems by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 2007 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.


SHOWCASE VIDEO: Derek Walcott e Davide Rondoni leggono Love after love (D. Walcott)

CameraOffstudio, Published on May 3, 2012

Lettura poetica "Love after love" in occasione dell'assegnazione del Premio Montale 2012 a Derek Walcott

(Derek Walcott)

"The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life."


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