Derek Walcott's eighth collection of poems, The Arkansas Testament, is divided into two parts--"Here," verse evoking the poet's native Caribbean, and "Elsewhere." It opens with six poems in quatrains whose memorable, compact lines further Walcott's continuous effort to crystallize images of the Caribbean landscape and people.
For several years, Derek Walcott has lived mainly in the United States. "The Arkansas Testament," one of the book's long poems, is a powerful confrontation of changing allegiances. The poem's crisis is the taking on of an extra history, one that challenges unquestioning devotion.
About the Author
Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000). His numerous plays include The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.
"In language that is unfailingly fresh and inventive, Walcott reminds us in every poem that a largely unexperienced world exists just "outside the door." - Library Journal