The Helen of the West Indies: Derek Walcott’s St. Lucia

by Gaurav Shah
I, with legs crossed along the daylight, watch
The variegated fists of clouds that gather over
The uncouth features of this, my prone island.
The prone island of St. Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha) in the Caribbean has been the source of inspiration for Nobel laureate Derek Walcott from the time he wrote the lines above at the age of 18. This small island (only 27 miles by 14 miles) has inspired a lifetime of poetry, including Omeros (1990), Walcott's book-length poem consisting of 64 chapters in seven books, each filled with three-line stanzas.

Walcott was born in Castries, S...

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