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The Bounty: Poems

Derek Walcott

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ISBN 10: 0374525374 / ISBN 13: 9780374525378
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Bounty: Poems

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


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 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 more than himself or 'a world'; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language."


Poet Derek Walcott loves grand themes. In his award-winning epic poem, Omeros, he revisted Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, relocating them to the Caribbean and peopling them with the poor fishermen and colonials of his homeland. In The Bounty, Walcott takes the 1787 arrival of that ill-fated British ship on Caribbean shores as the starting point for an elegiac meditation on life, art, and identity. In the collection's first poem, "The Bounty," Walcott remembers his mother who "lies/near the white beach stones"; the bounty he finds in his homeland, St. Lucia, is more than just the breadfruit brought to the Islands by the H.M.S. Bounty two centuries ago; it is the "thorns of the bougainvillea," and the industry of ants.

The Bounty is both an elegy for the poet's mother and for himself--for the land he left behind and the identity he shed as a result. In these poems, St. Lucia becomes all the more precious because Walcott can't go home again. Rich in imagery, these poems evoke the essence of the islands with each line.

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