The dazzling musicality of Derek Walcott, recipient of a Nobel Prize in Poetry, who passed away on Friday, March 17,2017 | Vox.com

Nobel Laureate Poet Derek Walcott has died this Friday at 87 years old. Walcott’s poetry centered around his life in St. Lucia in the Caribbean, and with the complex colonialist legacy that created his world — but it contains multitudes, and it travels around the world as much as its voraciously erudite author did. By turns epic and compact, Walcott’s poetry has a dazzling musicality and lyricism. It begs to be read aloud; you can almost taste the words as you read them.

To celebrate his legacy, here is a stanza from In the Village, a poem about Walcott’s time in New York’s Greenwich Village:

Who has removed the typewriter from my desk,

so that I am a musician without his piano

with emptiness ahead as clear and grotesque

as another spring? My veins bud, and I am so

full of poems, a wastebasket of black wire.

The notes outside are visible; sparrows will

line antennae like staves, the way springs were,

but the roofs are cold and the great grey river

where a liner glides, huge as a winter hill,

moves imperceptibly like the accumulating

years. I have no reason to forgive her

for what I brought on myself. I am past hating,

past the longing for Italy where blowing snow

absolves and whitens a kneeling mountain range

outside Milan. Through glass, I am waiting

for the sound of a bird to unhinge the beginning

of spring, but my hands, my work, feel strange

without the rusty music of my machine. No words

for the Arctic liner moving down the Hudson, for the mange

of old snow moulting from the roofs. No poems. No birds. 

It’s a quiet, melancholy poem built around the idea of being unable to create poems, and it moves so naturally and swiftly that it might take a few readings to catch its tricky, irregular rhyme scheme (I make it ABABCDEEDFEFBGFHGIGI) and the subliminal musicality it creates.

Thank you for everything, Derek Walcott. You were so / full of poems.

http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/3/17/14959438/derek-walcott-obituary-in-the-village

Related Story:  Derek Walcott In The New Yorker 

Just a Little One | Dorothy Parker,  The New Yorker, May 12, 1928

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1928/05/12/just-a-little-one