Walcott Derek 1930 - 2017 (87)

Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow, like daughters, my harbouring arms.




Broad sun-stoned beaches.

White heat.
A green river.
A bridge,
scorched yellow palms

from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.

Days I have held,
days I have lost,
days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

Derek Walcott (January 23, 1930 - March 17, 2017) was a writer from Saint Lucia, Little Antilles in the Caribbean. He had a twin brother and a sister, his father died before his birth; his mother was a teacher and a lover of arts and poetry. His family had English, Dutch and African roots, a reflection of the complex colonial society of the island that Derek investigated in his poetry. He graduated from the University of West Indies in Jamaica and studied theater in the USA with a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship. In 1953 he settled in Trinidad, where he worked as a theater and art critic, and from 1959 to 1979 he directed the Trinidad Theatrical Lab.

In 1962, with the collection of poems "In a Green Night" his poetry began to gain international recognition. His favorite poet was Homer, and in 1990 he wrote the poem collection "Homer", a composition of 8,000 verses describing the life of two fishermen who travel to West Africa to find their roots. In 1992 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. He was an honorary member of the American Academy of Literature and Arts and he taught creative poetry and drama writing at the Columbia, Gael and Harvard Universities. He was twice accused by students of sexual harassment.

Apart from his great poetic offer, he is also known for his plays, which have been played with great success all over the world. Walcott had 3 children and was 3 time married, he was a travel lover and lived between New York, Boston and St. Lucia. He died in St. Lucia on 17 March 2017.