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Customer Review

on 27 October 2011
This is a late masterpiece from a Nobel prize winning poet. It is superb from the first poem to the last. The themes are personal and universal. The poet is ageing and yet still feels a younger man in heart and loins. Walcott deals with this familiar territory of old age with honesty, poignancy and brilliant imagery. The poetry is rhymed throughout but with such delicacy and fluency that you will first read the book through without noticing. What will astound you is the stunning detail of landscape both external and internal. The book only grows on second and third reading and so on. Walcott is a master at weaving together the living fabric of his observation and thoughts. Included are wonderful descriptions of his trips abroad to Italy and Spain as well as the beloved domestic vistas of the Caribbean. He pays homage to various friends, alive and dead, and scores off an enemy who has despised his homeland. There are pages of reckoning with the British Empire and other political legacies, but mainly a reckoning with himself. This is a great work and there is room for remorse as well as defiance. It was wisely chosen as the Poetry Book Society Choice and won the T.S. Eliot Prize. In my opinion it is a far better book than Heaney's late work Human Chain which won the Forward and I am sure history will agree with me.
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