BOOKS: HYMNS FOR THE INDIGO HOUR

ANTICIPATING THE END OF HIS LIFE, A NOBEL LAUREATE FINDS SOLACE IN THE EDEN THAT SUSTAINED HIS WORK

Even readers who tend to veer away from poetry find themselves propelled toward the work of Derek Walcott. It's not just because the West Indian Nobel laureate has the classic gift of mixing ease with eloquence and of deepening, dignifying his most private moments with the high and burnished diction of a sunlit Shakespeare. Even more, Walcott has strained and struggled all his life to match sun and rain, to marry the world of autumn leaves and opera houses that he learned to love on paper with the unrecorded "pomme-arac" and fireflies of his long-colonized islands. If the multiculturalists who govern...

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