Caribbean’s Lyrical Voice and Nobel Laureate

Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism, and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died Friday at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia. He was 87.

In the poem “Islands,” from the collection “In a Green Night,” he wrote:

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. 

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