In This Chapter

Derek Walcott

On Being a Caribbean Poet

Authored by: Edward Baugh

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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In his Epitaph for the Young, published when he was nineteen, Derek Walcott wrote, ‘There is not a West Indian Literature’ (1949: 9). He was conscious from early of his potential role in the emergence of anglophone Caribbean literature. In his fulfilment of that potential, he was alert to issues of poetics and culture which the literature would inevitably have to engage in its emergence. These considerations are active not only in his creative writing but also in his essays and interviews which, while positing his vision of Caribbean literature, also at times constitute a defence of his own creative practice.

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