For every poet it is always morning in the world; history a forgotten, insomniac night. The fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world in spite of history.— Derek Walcott
The most impressive Derek Walcott quotes that are little-known but priceless
Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.
Summer for prose and lemons, for nakedness and languor.
Good science and good art are always about a condition of awe.
I don't think there is any other function for the poet or the scientist in the human tribe but the astonishment of the soul.
The English language is nobody's special property.
It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.
The sigh of History rises over ruins, not over landscapes, and in the Antilles there are few ruins to sigh over, apart from the ruins of sugar estates and abandoned forts.
Memory that yearns to join the centre, a limb remembering the body from which it has been severed, like those bamboo thighs of the god.
If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be average.
The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome.
I come from a place that likes grandeur;
it likes large gestures; it is not inhibited by flourish; it is a rhetorical society; it is a society of physical performance; it is a society of style.
Visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean;
it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves.
Peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
The truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element.
Love After Love all your life, whom you have ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
Any serious attempt to try to do something worthwhile is ritualistic.
Slowly my body grows a single sound, slowly I become a bell, an oval, disembodied vowel, I grow, an owl, an aureole, white fire poesia "Metamorfosi, I. Luna
I try to forget what happiness was, and when that don't work, I study the stars.
The personal vocabulary, the individual melody whose metre is one's biography, joins in that sound, with any luck, and the body moves like a walking, a waking island.
The English language is nobody's special property.
Art is History's nostalgia, it prefers a thatched roof to a concrete factory, and the huge church above a bleached village.
I look in the mirror. There's me. What's in the mirror is not real. So am I unreal?
In Eden who sleeps happiest? The serpent.
To change your language you must change your life.
The first thing we have to do is get rid of the pentameter. To ditch the pentameter.
You can't write drunk.
All of Victorian verse is pentameter.
The future happens. No matter how much we scream.
What are men? Children who doubt.
I too saw the wooden horse blocking the stars.
I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer.
I have grown up believing it is a vocation, a religious vocation.
The poem is itself a mirror.
Damn wind shift sudden as a woman mind.
I know when dark-haired evening put on her bright silk at sunset, and, folding the sea sidled under the sheet with her starry laugh, that there'd be no rest, there'd be no forgetting. Is like telling mourners round the graveside about resurrection, they want the dead back.
The thing that is believed is a reality.
We look and see what we see in a mirror, and we believe it.
That's important, the question of belief. The question is: Should we believe what we see in a mirror?
Time is the metre, memory the only plot.
We make too much of that long groan which underlines the past.
Love After Love The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
I read; I travel; I become
How can I turn from Africa and live?
She's a rare vase, out of a cat's reach, on its shelf.
The voice does go up in a poem. It is an address, even if it is to oneself.
Americans are not brought up with meter.
They're not brought up with poetry. If you try to get them to recite, they're too embarrassed.
The word and the shadow of the word / makes a thing both itself and something else / till we are metaphors and not ourselves . . .
Who cares about a kid from the Midwest writing pentameter? It's stupid.
The classics can console. But not enough.
When you get a class reciting some great poems, it'll tear your heart out.
We read, we travel, we become.
The mirror is believed the way a poem is believed. It's believed because it's there.