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All Quotes by author - Derek Walcott
" A culture, we all know, is made by its cities. "
" A fisherman, say, working on a beach doing his job, may be photographed by a tourist because it's photogenic to see him working, and the Caribbean is extremely photogenic, so poverty is photogenic, and a lot of people are photographed in their poverty, and sometimes it's kind of exploited. "
" After a while, when the writer is mature, it doesn't really matter - not because of finances but because of reputation. It doesn't really matter how many awards you get. "
" All of the Antilles, every island, is an effort of memory: every mind, every racial biography culminating in amnesia and fog. Pieces of sunlight through the fog and sudden rainbows, arcs-en-ciel. That is the effort, the labour of the Antillean imagination, rebuilding its gods from bamboo frames, phrase by phrase. "
" A long time ago, I thought, as a writer in the Caribbean, 'I don't ever want to have to write 'It was great in Paris.'' Because I don't think, proportionately speaking, that one's experience in a city as opposed to, say, a village in St. Lucia, is superior to the other. "
" A noun is not a name you give something. It is something you watch becoming itself, and you have to have the patience to find out what it is. "
" Anybody great, we're all interested in the relics. If you found an unfinished Gauguin, you'd still want to see it. "
" Any serious attempt to try to do something worthwhile is ritualistic. "
" As much as I like teaching and students, it's a kind of rigor, a discipline, that's against my body. "
" Because that is what such a city is, in the New World, a writer's heaven. "
" Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. "
" Creating a poem is a continual process of re-creating your ignorance, in the sense of not knowing what's coming next. "
" For so long, the world has viewed West Indian culture as semiliterate and backward, which it is not. In my work, I have tried to give that world an exposure so the world can better understand it. "
" How does a poet teach himself or herself? I think chiefly by imitation, chiefly by practising it as a deliberate technical exercise often. Translation, imitation, those were my methods anyway. "
" I always have difficulty with the Greek tragic plays. I think the difficulty one has - which is a serious problem - is the question of belief. Do you believe in the myth that the play expresses? Do you believe in it as myth or as reality? With any play, you have to believe in it as reality. You can't act a myth. "
" I always knew that was what I wanted to do - to write, particularly poetry. "
" I am grateful, you know. I have to be grateful in the sense that I feel that what I have is a gift. "
" I am not defined as a black writer in the Caribbean, but as soon as I go to America or the U.K., my place becomes black theatre. It's a little ridiculous. "
" I am not in England; I live in the Caribbean. So I am not hungover by prizes and awards because it does not happen very often. "
" I am only one-eighth the writer I might have been had I contained all the fragmented languages of Trinidad. "
" I am primarily, absolutely a Caribbean writer. "
" I can be upset by malice. Most critics are very poor poets. Poetry is a craft that takes a lot to appreciate, and there are some critics who have no ear for it. An irresponsible critic can do a lot of psychic damage, but eventually, they don't affect your work. "
" I can't tear up a poem and be a sound bite for you. Why is that so hard for anyone to understand? "
" I come from a place that likes grandeur; it likes large gestures. It is not inhibited by flourish. It is a rhetorical society. It is a society of physical performance. It is a society of style. "
" I consider the sound of the sea to be part of my body. "
" I didn't pass the scholarship exam for Oxford because of poor mathematics. "
" I don't believe that poetry is in danger because nobody wants to read it or appreciate it. There is a tremendous audience for it on any given day or night. You just have to know where to look. "
" I don't feel I've arrived home until I get on the beach. All my life, the theater of the sea has been a very strong thing. "
" I don't feel like a celebrity. Poetry justifies celebrity. It's good to have respect for a poet. "
" I don't know what would have happened to me as a writer if I had gone to England and shaped my life out of England. Of course, I will never know, but I think I prefer what did happen. "
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