I got a book of Derek Walcott's poetry for Christmas from my daughter, and here's one of the first ones I read:
Merely to name them is the prose
Of diarists, to make you a name
For readers who like travellers praise
Their beds and beaches as the same;
But islands can only exist
If we have loved in them. I seek,
As climate seeks its style, to write
Verse crisp as sand, clear as sunlight,
Cold as the curled wave, ordinary
As a tumbler of island water;
Yet, like a diarist, thereafter
I savor their salt-haunted rooms
(Your body stirring the creased sea
Of crumpled sheets), whose mirrors lose
Our huddled, sleeping images,
Like words which love had hoped to use
Erased with the surf's pages.
So, like a diarist in sand,
I mark the peace with which you graced
Particular islands, descending
A narrow stair to light the lamps
Against the night surf's noises, shielding
A leaping mantle with one hand,
Or simply scaling fish for supper,
Onions, jack-fish, bread, red snapper;
And on each kiss the harsh sea-taste,
And how by moonlight you were made
To study most the surf's unyielding
Patience though it seems a waste.
I've been an island-dweller myself for more than twenty years now, and I have definitely loved in this beautiful island of Haiti. I'm looking forward to reading more of Walcott's "verse crisp as sand, clear as sunlight, cold as the curled wave, ordinary as a tumbler of island water," and as a wannabe poet myself, those are some good goals for the new year.
Heidi has today's roundup.
1 hour ago