Derek Walcott is a poet, playwright, essayist, and visual artist. Born in Castries, St. Lucia, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. His epic poem Omerosis a reworking of the Homeric story and tradition into a journey around the Caribbean and beyond to the American West and London.

IN THE REVIEW

Two poems by Derek Walcott

There was no “affair,” it was all one-sided. Bats fretted the treetops then pitched like darts from the pines. At lunch an invisible presence presided over the wines and salads as, in fits and starts, a sinuous organ sobbed to the Bay of the Saracens …

XLIX

ELEGY for Aimé Cesaire I sent you, in Martinique, maître, the unfolding letter of a sail, a letter beyond the lines of blindingly white breakers, of lace-laden surplices and congregational shale. I did not send any letter, though it flailed on the wind, your island …

The Hulls of White Yachts

The hulls of white yachts riding the orange water of the marina at dusk, and, under their bowsprits the chuckle of the chain in the stained sea; try to get there before a green light winks from the mast and the foc’sle blazes with glare, while …

On the Cathedral Steps

On the cathedral steps sprinkled by the bells’ benediction like water that blissfully stained the scorching street, you were not among the small crowd in the sun, so many in black against the Sicilian heat. I never entered the shaded church with its pews facing …

This Page Is a Cloud

This page is a cloud between whose fraying edges a headland with mountains appears brokenly then is hidden again until what emerges from the now cloudless blue is the grooved sea and the whole self-naming island, its ochre verges, its shadow-plunged valleys and a coiled …

The Great Exile

Guilty of Dancing the Chachachá

by Guillermo Cabrera Infante,translated from the Spanish by the author
We know Havana mainly through photographs. Its great exile Guillermo Cabrera Infante, in his memories of the city in Guilty of Dancing the Chachachá, uses the kind of images that photographers love: crusted, Pompeian, the city’s Technicolor faded to black and white, its poetry diminished to documentary propaganda, its graffiti …