Untitled (no. 54)
This page is a cloud between whose fraying edges a headland with mountains appears brokenly then is hidden again until what emerges from the now cloudless blue is the grooved sea and the whole self-naming island, its ochre verges, its shadow-plunged valleys and a coiled road threading the fishing villages, the white, silent surges of combers along the coast, where a line of gulls has arrowed into the widening harbour of a town with no noise, its streets growing closer like print you can now read, two cruise ships, schooners, a tug, ancestral canoes, as a cloud slowly covers the page and it goes white again and the book comes to a close.
Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in Castries, Saint Lucia. After training as a painter and studying at St. Mary's College in Saint Lucia and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved to Trinidad, where he worked as a theatre and art critic. In 1957, he was awarded a fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation to study the American theatre, and in 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.
He has received numerous honours, including the 1990 W. H. Smith Literary Award, the1992 Nobel Prize for Literature and the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize.Read more about this poet
About this poem
This poem, representing Saint Lucia, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.