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Cardigan Arrest

Robert Potts: Poetry in Punglish, 21 June 2007

Look We Have Coming to Dover! 
by Daljit Nagra.
Faber, 55 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 0 571 23122 5
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... happening here. Nagra is only Faber’s second poet of colour (the other is the Nobel prize-winner Derek Walcott). His book has been published just as the ‘under-representation’ of ‘black and ethnic minority’ poets (BEMs, in the unlovely acronym of arts workers) has occasioned a publicly financed, expensive-looking and statistically illiterate ...

Slavery and Revenge

John Kerrigan, 22 October 2020

... intended. Yet evangelicalism fed a hunger for righteousness and an appetite for spiritual victory. Derek Walcott was right to say that it is simplistic to regard conversion as ‘Christian treachery that seduces revenge’.Justified anger is tenacious, and, as Phillips’s Cambridge discovers, it can be hard to manage. Writing about her native Antigua a ...


James Wood, 5 August 1993

The New Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... now extruded/now wizened instantaneously’. Murray is sometimes compared to Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott. But at his best he is much more inventive, much wittier and more agile than either poet. Like Lawrence’s poems in Birds, Beasts and Flowers, Murray’s have a childlike freedom and responsiveness: the lines go their own way, barefoot. It is ...

Can we conceive of Beatrice ‘snapping’ like a shrew?

Helen Vendler: How not to do Dante, 1 September 2005

Dante in English 
edited by Eric Griffiths and Matthew Reynolds.
Penguin, 479 pp., £16.99, May 2005, 0 14 042388 5
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... range from Chaucer and other English writers to non-British poets such as Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and W.S. Merwin. Attempts at rendering Dante into English spring from various theories of translation and ‘imitation’, all of which seem to be on display here. Use terza rima, don’t use terza rima; use rhyme, don’t use rhyme; use ...

Ends of the Earth

Jeremy Harding: ‘Mimesis: African Soldier’, 6 December 2018

Mimesis: African Soldier 
by John Akomfrah.
Imperial War Museum, until 30 March 2018
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... another and the rest of nature, are glossed by readings from Melville, Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf, Derek Walcott (‘then came the men with eyes heavy as anchors’) and Heathcote Williams (Whale Nation, 1988). The spoken texts play in and out of the deafening audio mix as whales breach, icecaps melt, huge shoals of fish migrate from screen to screen and ...

Like Heaven

Lorna Scott Fox, 22 May 1997

by Patrick Chamoiseau, translated by Rose-Myriam Réjouis.
Granta, 401 pp., £15.99, March 1997, 1 86207 007 5
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School Days 
by Patrick Chamoiseau, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Nebraska, 156 pp., $13, March 1997, 0 8032 6376 7
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... into a thousand fragments that reflect the seething internationality of the Caribbean; as Derek Walcott said of Port of Spain, ‘a ferment without a history, like heaven’. Chamoiseau’s translator, Rose-Myriam Réjouis, tells us in her Afterword that she doesn’t think she betrayed Texaco ‘by actually making it readable’. After ...

Lawrence Festival

Dan Jacobson, 18 September 1980

... on the Development of the Novel’. Thom Gunn, the Anglo-American poet, was also there; and so was Derek Walcott from the West Indies. Participating in our cogitations was an audience of several hundred who had paid for the privilege of attending (and had thus presumably relieved some of the strain on the pocket-book of the Texan). Almost all these ...

Fear of Rabid Dogs

Margaret Anne Doody, 18 August 1994

Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time 
by Marina Warner.
Vintage, 104 pp., £4.99, April 1994, 0 09 943361 3
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... our minds with material worth pondering – including artists as diverse as Steven Spielberg and Derek Walcott. Yet at the same time she is distressed by some of the controlling notions or clichés of our time – ‘myths’ in the lowest sense, dangerous rotten explanations. The six lectures do not allow her the scope to work out some of her own ...

The Last Hundred Days

Peter Wollen: Kassel’s Mega-Exhibition, 3 October 2002

Documenta 11 
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... Isaac Julien’s beautiful new film, Paradise/Omeros, made in collaboration with Gaby Agis and Derek Walcott, to Maria Eichhorn’s work – a contract ceding itself to a company created for that purpose, with Enwezor as principal director – and Kingelez’s phantasmagoric model of a future Manhattan (see previous page), with new ornate structures ...

On Octavio Paz and Marie-José Tramini

Homero Aridjis, translated by Chloe Aridjis, 21 November 2019

... that day to spite her. After a minute’s silence in Helena’s memory, nine poets, including Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka and me, each read a poem by Paz and one of our own.Almost immediately after Marie-José died, bureaucrats and pettifoggers appeared, brandishing permits and credentials, anxious to rummage through the couple’s papers and ...

Elegant Extracts

Leah Price: Anthologies, 3 February 2000

The Oxford Book of English Verse 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 690 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 214182 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume One 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2974 pp., £22.50, December 1999, 0 393 97487 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume Two 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2963 pp., £22.50, February 2000, 9780393974911
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume One 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2963 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01173 2
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume Two 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2982 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01174 0
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Night & Horses & The Desert: An Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature 
edited by Robert Irwin.
Allen Lane, 480 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7139 9153 4
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News that Stays News: The 20th Century in Poems 
edited by Simon Rae.
Faber, 189 pp., £9.99, October 1999, 0 571 20060 5
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Time’s Tidings: Greeting the 21st Century 
by Carol Ann Duffy.
Anvil, 157 pp., £7.95, November 1999, 0 85646 313 2
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Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the 20th Century in Poetry 
edited by Peter Forbes.
Penguin, 640 pp., £12.99, February 1999, 9780140588996
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... makes the Norton something less than an anthology of anglophone writing, while the inclusion of Walcott and Gordimer makes the Longman something more than a collection of texts by British and Irish authors. Ricks’s Oxford Book of English Verse, which for the first time opens its borders to a spectacular series of translations into English (and ...


Paul Theroux: Out of Sir Vidia’s Shadow, 24 February 2022

... version of the Bible, he said: ‘It’s frightfully good.’ Early on he praised the work of Derek Walcott, who had once been a friend of his, and recited a whole poem, ‘As John to Patmos’, from memory. But later he rubbished him, and Walcott replied in the same vein, in several scathing poems, calling him ...

Lincoln, Illinois

William Fiennes, 6 March 1997

All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories 
by William Maxwell.
Harvill, 415 pp., £10.99, January 1997, 1 86046 308 8
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So Long, See You Tomorrow 
by William Maxwell.
Harvill, 135 pp., £8.99, January 1997, 9781860463075
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... of Florida’ (‘There will never be an end/To this droning of the surf’) and of the way Derek Walcott would later bring Omeros to a close, with Achille landing his catch of mackerel and hauling his boat onto the sand: ‘When he left the beach the sea was still going on.’ It is the late, short novel So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980) that ...
A Word from the Loki 
by Maurice Riordan.
Faber, 64 pp., £6.99, January 1995, 0 571 17364 0
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After the Deafening 
by Gerard Woodward.
Chatto, 64 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 0 7011 6271 6
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The Ice-Pilot Speaks 
by Pauline Stainer.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £6.95, October 1994, 1 85224 298 1
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The Angel of History 
by Carolyn Forché.
Bloodaxe, 96 pp., £7.95, November 1994, 1 85224 307 4
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The Neighbour 
by Michael Collier.
Chicago, 74 pp., £15.95, January 1995, 0 226 11358 2
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by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 64 pp., £6.99, March 1995, 0 19 282451 1
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... to shy away from such material (which is another reason Thirties poets are so interesting today). Derek Walcott has proposed that we think of the woman’s voice in The Angel of History as belonging to a Pauline Celan – a misleading remark, because Paul Celan’s work is as pains-takingly oblique as Forché’s is painfully direct. Celan, for ...

Like a Meteorite

James Davidson, 31 July 1997

Homer in English 
edited by George Steiner.
Penguin, 355 pp., £9.99, April 1996, 0 14 044621 4
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Homer’s ‘Iliad’ 
translated by Stanley Lombardo.
Hackett, 584 pp., £6.95, May 1997, 0 87220 352 2
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Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ 
translated by Robert Fagles.
Viking, 541 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 670 82162 4
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... Greeks, we have our own archaic Chapman. To get a taste of his originality, try James Joyce, or Derek Walcott. For drama and pathos try Christopher Logue, and for sheer poetic artistry try Fitzgerald or Alexander Pope. And if, after this, you feel in need of some orality, have some friends round for dinner, put on some music and read it ...

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