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Poetry, Laureates, A Nobel Prize Recipient And A Future President.

December 6, 2008

A few days ago I read in one of my favorite blogs – Bob & Margery’s Poetry Blog  ( Bob Holman & Margery Snyder) (http://poetry.about.com/b/) that: until the appointment of Andrew Motion in 1999, the position of Poet Laureate in the United Kingdom was a job that lasted a lifetime. But Motion has it for a fixed 10-year term, which ends next year, and the search for his successor has already begun.

 from The Times (UK):

Who will be the new Poet Laureate?,” by Phillip Collins

“One view is that this time, surely, whoever wins should be a she. The previous 19 holders of the post have all been men — and in Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope, Lavinia Greenlaw, Jackie Kay, Fleur Adcock and Ruth Padel, there is no shortage of suitable candidates. But there is a bigger question, too, and it is this: what is the point of the Poet Laureate and why do we need one at all?”

I pondered this last question (no conclusion yet) and thought of various American poets laureate  from previous years – mentally listing some names – then “wandered over” to the miniscule handful of Nobel Prize winners in Literature my memory was able to regurgitate,  stopping when I arrived at Derek Walcott.

On the same above mentioned Poetry Blog, I discovered an article entitled: Poets Writing History — Immediate Responses to the 2008 American Election. In this article, I came across the very man I had been thinking about – Derek Walcott – the West Indies poet who won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment,” and whose Collected Poems was photographed in Barack Obama’s hand just a few days after he was elected President, has already written a poem for Obama that appeared in The London Times the day after the election: “Forty Acres.” 

Here Professor Walcott reads his poem ‘Sea Grapes’ from “Collected Poems 1948-1984.”


 

And a  perennial favorite of mine:

Love After Love.

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 23, 2010 2:32 pm

    Hi There! I just wrote an entire album of songs based on a Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska’s amazing poetry! Our style is cinematic meets indie-rock.

    Check us out!

    http://www.closerocean.com/

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/CloserOcean

    Thanks!

    Kevin

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