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The Bounty [PDF / EPUB] The Bounty The Bounty was the first book of poems Walcott published after winning the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature Opening with the title poem a memorable elegy to the poet's mother the book features a hauntin The Bounty was the first book of poems Walcott published after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature Opening with the title poem a memorable elegy to the poet's mother the book features a haunting series of poems that evoke Walcott's native ground the island of St Lucia For almost forty years his throbbing and relentless lines kept arriving in the English language like tidal waves Walcott's great contemporary Joseph Brodsky once observed He gives us than himself or 'a world'; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language.

  • Paperback
  • 96 pages
  • The Bounty
  • Derek Walcott
  • English
  • 12 November 2016
  • 9780374525378

About the Author: Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott was a Caribbean poet playwright writer and visual artist Born in Castries St Lucia he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity sustained by a historical vision the outcome of a multicultural commitmentHis work which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time.

10 thoughts on “The Bounty

  1. says:

    There are two ways to read these poems One is to move slowly through each dense line extracting the meaning unearthing every allusion and metaphor savoring the challenge of encountering poems of such power and of such strange beauty The other is simply to read the poems moving from line to line in search only of the music of Walcott's language gathering impressions rather than answersWith Derek Walcott's poetry either approach is eually valid The poems in The Bounty are at once learned and visceral and will reward all who come to them no matter who they are or what they hope to take away The book opens with a seven cycle poem about the death of the poet's mother and his conseuent loss of faith and while he nominally moves away from this theme most of the poems in this collection are reflections on loss sadness depression conflict or some variation of theseProbably the most striking aspect is Walcott's ability to make nature his explanatory voice—why say with your own tongue what flowers insects palm trees and the ocean can say for you? We see in the flora of his native St Lucia all the emotions of grief and hope and anger; we see in the birds of every place he's been the things that make us human; we see in recurring images of water both the gravity of existence now and the uncertainty of existence yet to be These are not mere tricks; for Walcott they are reflections of the truths rewarded to those who seek themSometimes it seems like Walcott cares about saying something beautiful than he does about saying something profound and that's probably true Not all of these poems has a clear meaning certainly not one to be grasped after cursory reading But all of them rings true despite this And even if they didn't they all sound beautiful and sometimes that's all the excuse you need to read them

  2. says:

    I struggled at times with Walcott's long lines and my lack of knowledge of the flora in his poems; however I'm definitely glad I read itI particularly enjoyed the second section of Homecoming where he declares casuarinas they are as alien as olives and poem 27 Praise to the rain eraser of picnics praise the grey cloud

  3. says:

    I understand Walcott is kind of the poster boy for post colonial studies And for good reason There is no end to the complicated juxtaposition that he presents in his books The Bounty continues that continuing shift over the Atlantic Ocean varying between Santa Cruz and London or Italy But I would actually be interested in setting this book in the context of some kind of eco poetics Considering Walcott's dense imagery and his overall proposition that out of death there comes life Yes this is no great revelation except he touches on how death in his elegy makes the life and energy of the poems Walcott handles this concept with care and respect and complexity

  4. says:

    There is a story of resistance behind this book It appeared on the chaotic book tables at our local giant what not warehouse and I bypassed it three times before finally picking it up I knew of Walcott and heard him read once and just never felt connected to his work regardless of his Nobel laureate reputation And this book was all long lines Why that would bother me I don't know because Whitman's long lines never bothered me But I just felt tired even looking at it and so never took it home Until it became clear after probably 6 or months on that table that I was the only one who knew that it should be picked up In the end I felt sorry for poor neglected Walcott and finally took the book home for50 And then it sat on a side table for 6 months I couldn't put it with the other books because it had caught a case of mildew from its many months at the warehouse I finally moved it to the read soon pile just to get it out of the living room and finally picked it up to read with the same get it out of the way attitude So I've been totally uncharitable toward this book and now feel ashamed because if it weren't mildewy I would have kept it for a future re read It did take some reading to really start appreciating the rhythms in Walcott's lines And some of the first poems seemed like description going nowhere But the I read the I began seeing his form and how he was linking sounds It was only toward the end that I began to wonder if there was also a larger structure to the book that I was missing Many of the poems merely have numbers as titles Except for the title poem which is in tercets all of the poems are in single stanza blocks of text of varying length but never than a page A few of the poems are divided into sectionsMy first uote will be from the title poem which is an elegy for his mother This is from section vLike our dread of distance we need a horizona dividing line that turns the stars into neighborsthough infinity separates them we can think of only one sunall I'm saying is that the dread of death is in the faceswe love the dread of our dying or theirs;therefore we see in the glint of immeasurable spacesnot stars or falling embers not meteors but tearsIn this elegy John Clare is repeatedly invoked as is a Tom that I'm unable to place This invoking of other poets is common throughout this book I remember being uite startled to see him use Gerard Manley Hopkins' dawn drawn in one One reason to re read the book is to pay closer attention to these He also often makes reference in poems to the writing process or tools especially paper as though trying to conflate the act of writing with the landscape itself So I stopped reading this book with the feeling that I had scratched the surface and there was still much to consider Here are some excerptsFrom 11 Nadais the street with its sharp shadows and the vendors uietas their yams and strange to think the turrets of Granadaare nada compared to this white hot emptiness or all the whitestone castles in summer or pigeons exploding into flocksover St Mark's nada next to the stride measuring egret over the stunned bay and the crash of surf on the rocksIt is only your imagination that finally ignites itat sunset in that half hour the colour of regretwhen the surf older than your hand writes Itis nothing and it is this nothingness that makes it greatThe first full sentence of 27Praise to the rain eraser of picnics praise the grey cloudthat makes every headland a ghost and the guttering belch braided water praise to the rain and her slow shroudshe is the muse of Amnesia which is another islandspectral adrift where those we still love existbut in another sense that this shore cannot understandfor reminding us that all substance thins into mistand has its vague frontiers the country of memoryand as in Rimbaud the idea of eternityis a razed horizon when the sky and the sea are mixedand the solid disappears like the dead into essenceswhich is the loud message of the martial advancing rainwith its lances and mass and sometimes alarming our senses the kettledrums of advancing thunder And lastly all of 34At the end of this line there is an opening doorthat gives on a blue balcony where a gull will settlewith hooked fingers then like an image leaving an ideabeat in slow scansion across the hammered metalof the afternoon sea a sheet that my right hand steers a small sail making for Martiniue or SicilyIn the lilac flecked distance the same headlands rustwith flecks of houses blown from the spume of the troughand the echo of a gull where a gull's shadow racedbetween sunlit seas No cry is exultant enoughfor my thanks for my heart that flings open its hingesand slants my ribs with light At the end a shadowslower than a gull's over water lengthens by inchesand covers the lawn There is the same high ardourof rhetorical sunsets in Sicily as over Martiniueand the same horizon underlines their bright absencethe long loved shining there who perhaps do not speakfrom unutterable delight since speech is for mortalssince at the end of each sentence there is a graveor the sky's blue door or once the widening portalsof our disenfranchised sublime The one light we havestill shines on a spire or a conch shell as it fallsand folds this page over with a whitening wave

  5. says:

    an echoing architecture of stanzas

  6. says:

    Reading the world in books Saint LuciaNobel prize Very much disappointed in his poetry

  7. says:

    In this 1997 collection of Nobel Prize winning Derek Walcott’s poetry one can sense even strongly than before his awareness of aging of approaching death of the strains and discontinuities of his balancing of his life in the US and Europe with his life in the Caribbean As always with this marvelous poet his lines are long rolling and fluid much like the southern sea that is never far from his awareness His language is precise yet never simple allusive and yet evocative of the present sensations with which he intimately lives His rhymes when he uses rhymes are often approximate and freuently hidden by the propulsively enjambed lines which he is accustomed to use When the reader is familiar with his allusions the effect is magical and when the reader is not the music alone charms and sooths Walcott likes to write in long rolling cadences and the effect can be movingI especially enjoyed #28 “Awaking to gratitude in this generous Eden” an homage to Yeats and to Lady Gregory’s copper beech autograph tree at Coole But it is hard to pick out favorites almost every poem proving captivatingAt the end Walcott reaches a measure of peace finding commonality among the various aspects of his life even as he affirms his fundamental rootedness in his beloved St LuciaA final comment Walcott is an accomplished water colorist and one of his paintings graces the cover of this paperback

  8. says:

    All of these waves crepitate from the culture of Ovidits sibilants and consonants; a universal metrepiles up these signatures like inscriptions of seaweedJust a little tastebeautiful book

  9. says:

    This was one of the 1998 RUSA Notable Books winners For the complete list go to

  10. says:

    you were always happier with the cold and uncertain edges not blinding sunlight on water in this ferry sidling up to the pier

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