POEM: It Always Rains in that Green House

May 9, 2017

Dedicated to Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

by Jaydeep Sarangi

Jaydeep-Sarangi JPEG

It always rains at St Lucia, Achille finds roots in the chaotic hybrid world.

Silence chants from the annals of history. So many bards flock together

From shores of time.  The elder of twin boys.

La Plata to Di Hong

The Ganges to river Yuna

All bear a name: re-writing a name.

 

Fruits are juicy, flowers with perfume,

Core of fire  burns each heart, nature’s plan.

Each one has a story to share in silence.

So we stop. We listen to mountains sing,

Rocks, caves and falls prepare minds

For a moment of calm awakening of inside.

Ancient sages bless for a supreme quiet stream of light

Flashing from each joint of bones. It’s home. Home

For green knights. Soul of the native,

Season of mist makes all hearts juicy, language

Kissing words of luck hours by hours.

Love letters are taken  from the bookshelf.

 

The sparrows and seagulls compete with doves,

Crows have part with images, history of the land,

No man can ever be more sensitive than

By the fire of the Muse, star apple kingdom.

Sense of the power and romance of  flora and fauna

In poems living, like the song of  the bird, trees old and new,

Flood each heart where poetry is a visitor, a valued priest.

 

Migratory birds search for home. Ruins of a green house.

We need one soon.

 

All poets count the humming of a bee, blood in their poems

Fair creature of an hour, all lines spark. It rains, rains always.

 

After this poem, rain will start. St. Lucia is our home.Another life.

Love after love!

 

About JAYDEEP SARANGI:

Jaydeep Sarangi is a widely anthologised poet with five collections in English, latest being: To Whom I Return Each Day (April 2017) which was released at the University of Uine,Udine Italy. He read poems in different shores of Australia, Europe and North America. Sarangi’s poems have appeared in many prestigious magazines like Indian Literature, Kavya Bharati, Setu,  Muse India, WEC, The Asian Age, CV, etc.  He has delivered keynote address in conferences/seminar  on new poetry in different Universities in different countries. He has guest edited a special issue on Derek Walcott for Muse India(www.museindia.com).Dr.Sarangi may be reached at: jaydeepsarangi@gmail.com

Jaydeep Sarangi Faculty,Dept. of English Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College (Univ. of Calcutta) 30,Prince Anwar Shah Road , Kolkata: 700033,WB,Country:: India -Ph 09477807031

 

 

 

Poem: For Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

May 9, 2017

by Leonard Dabydeen

DEREK WALCOTT JPEG

Sir Derek Walcott

Me know him nah dead,

Him only gone.

Fuh watch dem schooner

An’ listen some

See dem white egrets

Walking by the rocks

Feet like dry bamboo

Their heads bobbing, weavin’

Like Bob Marley singing

‘Buffalo Soldier’ in a dread lock

Wait till tomorrow come

To see Odysseus sitting

On a backyard bench

Talking to Derek

Till mornin’ come.

 

 

 

Salutation to Mother: Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2017

by Leonard Dabydeen

 

From that special moment

as conception tickles her womb

Motherhood takes root

like a banyan tree

she’s a nascent woman

pristine in her own castle

all consummate Jai Santoshi Ma

so devoted to happiness, prosperity

void of selfishness, fiery maw

ebullient cooing heartbeat Durga Ma

shakti aur bhakti, ma mukti

Lakshmi mata, Saraswati mata

child in her cocoon you are

migrating in her pulse

she sleeps portraying your dreams

sculpting body, mind and soul

many are nights of bad tales

she strokes your karma

for birth into a new world

always a silent bhajan

aarti her pregnant tummy

her smile an embroidery of faith

her utmost wish mere ma

satyam, shivam, sundaram

glorious joy to the world.

.

Musings of Sir Derek Walcott’s Life & Work

April 27, 2017

GOVT ST LUCIA JPEGMusings of Sir Derek Walcott’s Life & Work by Leonard Dabydeen

Sir Derek Walcott PNG

SIR DEREK WALCOTT

 

His heart palpitates

in island breeze

wind guiding mind’s sail

island swaying island

from Castries to Port of Spain

from Bridgetown to Kingston

like ‘fireflies caught in molases’.

~ Leonard Dabydeen

 

BREAKING NEWS on the early morning hours of Friday, March 17, 2017, in sombre silence in his home in Cap Estate near Gros Islet in St. Lucia in the Caribbean Sea, and best known as the “Helen of the West Indies”, Sir Derek Anton Walcott passed away. He was 87. He was suffering from a bout of illness, but died peacefully in his sleep. His son, Peter made the announcement. According to William Grimes of The New York Times, on March 17, 2017, his (Walcott) “death was confirmed by his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. No cause was given, but he had been in poor health for some time…”

(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/books/derek-walcott-dead-nobel-prize-literature.html?_r=0). He was survived by three children.

Walcott was a phenomenal connoisseur of the Caribbean literary brew as a poet, playwright and painter, with a penchant to make master boundaries on the international playing field. His Anglo-centric foundation was strong and irresistible in confluence – creole and English. The UPI’s Eric Duvall says, “Walcott’s complicated personal narrative mirrored that of the West Indies itself, where a mishmash of cultural imports have created a diverse, often complicated society ensconced in tropical paradise.” Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2017/03/17/Nobel-winning-poet-Derek-Walcott-voice-of-the-Caribbean-dead-at-87/9541489790001

As if he had a premonition of his life with a literary affluence, Walcott writes,

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 yourself. 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.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/love-after-love/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_6mgbRSUzo

 

Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. In 2016 he became a Knight Commander of the Order of St Lucia. His was a gratifying life of dreams and visions, commandeering imaginary with the visual, even as a playwright.

OF FUNERAL, OBITUARIES AND TRIBUTES: DEREK WALCOTT

On March 27, 2017, St. LUCIA TIMES reported the funeral of Derek Walcott. The funeral took place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries on March 25, 2017. There were a swath of professors, writers from across the globe, government dignitaries and media personnel in attendance, offering condolences and sharing the loss of this Caribbean literary giant.

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/27/derek-walcott-laid-rest

Sir Derek Walcott was given a State Funeral by the Government of St. Lucia

State Funeral of Sir Derek

GOVT ST LUCIA JPEG

Government of Saint Lucia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRfHaNeW8o

 

The funeral service was held close to where Derek Walcott grew up as a boy. It was as if he wished this connectivity with home and island to underline his final moment.

D W Q PNG

https://www.quotehd.com/Quotes/derek-walcott-playwright-quote-visual-surprise-is-natural-in-the-caribbean-it-comes

 

A special dignitary in the name of Professor Emeritus Edward A.C. Baugh, a Jamaican poet and scholar, and an authority on the work of Derek Walcott, delivered this eulogy (only an excerpt),

“We mourn and we celebrate a genius who was a prodigy, a maker. A Caribbean man who has made us and the world see more clearly the Caribbean landscape, Caribbean light. But we also mourn and celebrate a person. Someone with the virtues and the shortcomings that defined him, as the persons who knew him valued.”

 

He was finally crested to rest at Morne Fortune near the Inniskilling Monument, within a short distance from the resting spot of Nobel Laureate, Sir Arthur Lewis.

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/27/derek-walcott-laid-rest

In another eulogy, according to ST. LUCIA TIMES, under the header, “World bids farewell to Derek Walcott”, Monsignor Patrick Anthony made a fervent appeal to the packed congregation,

“to be proud of what Derek has done for us as a Caribbean people … to lift our heads high and say we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world.”

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/26/world-bids-farewell-derek-walcott

This writer finds it alarmingly voluminous in magnitude to plunge deep into the Caribbean Sea to capture all the prodigious voices that echoed, or continuing to echo, tributes and obituaries for the transiting of this literary giant from the island shores of St. Lucia, Sir Derek Anton Walcott. Suffice it to say, a non-exhaustive list of online players is presented here. This is followed by an almost comprehensive, glasnost olio of youtube voices that explode the life and work of this colossal literary West Indian son.

 

ONLINE TRIBUTES and more…Global connectivity:

 

The PARIS REVIEW: Searching for Derek Walcott

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/03/31/searching-for-derek-walcott/

Repeating Islands, Derek A. Walcott, St. Lucia, January 23, 1930 – March 17, 2017: ONLINE TRIBUTES

https://repeatingislands.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/derek-walcott-1930-2017-online-tributes.pdf

the star.com – News. World: Poet Derek Walcott, a Caribbean giant and Nobel Laureate dies at 87

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/03/17/poet-derek-walcott-a-caribbean-giant-and-nobel-laureate-dies-at-87.html

 

An olio of youtube voices …collected online by this writer…

 

YouTube State Funeral Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRfHaNeW8o

Artists Hold Special Wake For Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iCULPfVEJ4

Sir Derek Walcott on His Life and Work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_6mgbRSUzo

Sir Derek Walcott Reads Beginning of Omeros

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQupJNRE3b0

Sir Derek Walcott’s Extended View on Omeros

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z67iA4QCF14

Sir Derek Walcott Laid To Rest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4XSOS5lN6Q

Sir Derek Walcott : Family Moment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUoN0ufS060

 

The Walcott Brothers: A Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYsZORiVTb8

Sir Derek Walcott On Empire and Language

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrqKsGY9urM

A Reading by Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSH4qjN2v_c

Derek Walcott: The Perpetual Ideal is Astonishment | 92Y Readings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZxySOMSxOs

Sir Derek Walcott: Black Writers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsYKDAtUetE

Sir Derek Walcott: Oprah Pays Tribute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfoA_dfwvs

Sir Derek Walcott: Love After Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSS5Y9az4iI

Love After Love by Derek Walcott: Read by Roger Housden

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B36L9Av7uO4

 

Derek Walcott tribute: Linton Kwesi Johnson reads Love After Love – BBC Newsnight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_3QbH_aNmc

(short skit) Love after love by:Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Ni9a2cPlE

Sir Derek Walcott: POETRY IS AN ISLAND

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zWLloaVgPg

Love After Love by Derek Walcott – Read by Tom Hiddleston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z850LNbudlw

love after love poem by derek walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvytgrDO4eg

Love after Love by Derek Walcott: Kim Rosen and Jami Sieber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8ltOfLJkM

David Whyte recites Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOqxUrkJgc4

Oprah recites Love After Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rltojO-WxA

 

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlljQKq25zs

Poem reading by Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate in Literature

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxdjlqiz4q4

Derek Walcott reads Crusoe’s Island

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1emY_omZM

derek walcott died at 87| derek walcott poems| derek walcott love after love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vMZO8OpQOY

Tribute to the Honorable Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvPV87ZgOM

derek wolcott, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott dies at 87, St Lucia – Pigeon Post News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn-mDXp9KbQ

”A far cry from Africa” by Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF-8wIXJRVY

Tribute to 2015 Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award recipient Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7bDCUpmtg

 

Derek Walcott Photostory FINAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg9eTcMqViA

The Light of the World – Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnqlO–1Kk8

Derek Walcott – The Glory Trumpeter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCy5uZN21AM

IN AMSTERDAM, Poem by Derek Walcott.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80bU-owHmG8

“Star” by Derek Walcott (5:21 AM)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8btxEf1qF84

1 – Derek Walcott : a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLdX9n1JJkw

2 – Derek Walcott : a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOWztBOMsjA

UCSD Convocation: Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0T3KPmc6ZM

 

Derek Walcott Caedmon Audio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Olxc6u31g

 

Adios Carenage – Part 1, Derek Walcott’s epic poem, “The Schooner Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVw8uqIPreo

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 1 of 5

Lesley University

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVjDnz59hlA

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 2 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GotLXZFpxNY

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 3 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZMgQfyKa-M

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 4 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29RP6doR2qI

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 5 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hdSz0dIJ9w

 

Matthew St. Ville Hunte, who lives in St. Lucia, reminisced in the PARIS REVIEW on March 17, 2017 just after the death of Derek Walcott, that

To be born on a small island, a colonial backwater, meant a precocious resignation to fate. —Derek Walcott

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/03/31/searching-for-derek-walcott/

 

Derek Walcott’s Life and Work spanning almost nine decades are a rich, delightful musicality, imbued with an effervescent glow of Caribbean history, literature, culture and arts and an intoxicating blend of Western canon. From Britain to Boston to his homeland in St. Lucia, and skipping over to Jamaica and settling in Trinidad, he was a maverick trumpeting poetry , painting and plays with untiring energy and colossal power. His life was his work, and vice versa.

Derek Walcott was born, together with his twin brother, Roderick, on January 23, 1930, to Bohemian Methodist parents in the hometown of Castries, St. Lucia. Theirs were a family in a minority group, obscured for inherent religious and cultural beliefs against a backdrop of predominant Catholic denominations. And the island, St. Lucia was a firm British colonial protectorate underscored by African slavery, fragments of Indian indentureship and splashes of French. In its cultural embroidery this island of volcanic, tear-drop landfill is made up in a pastry of African, French and English blend. Walcott’s mother, Alix (Maartin) Walcott was a school teacher/headmistress of a local Methodist school; his father, Warwick Walcott was an inspirational watercolourist, civil servant and poetry writer. He died when Walcott was just a little child. Walcott also had a sister named Pamela. And his grandparents were known to be descendants of African slaves. Grandfathers being white; grandmothers African slaves.

Growing up in Castries, Walcott was quickly immersed in the beauty and glamour of St. Lucia as one of the Windward islands of the Lesser Antilles. He was slated early in life to focus his mind in the arts, with painting as, perhaps, his first choice. He was enthralled by professional artist Harold Simmons who mentored him in the facilitation of the Walcottian dream of plural ambiosity in the arts – painting, poetry and later being a debutante playwright. However, his mother, Alix, in the penchant educator fraternity, embossed in Walcott a spirited love for language. Around the home as opportunities unfold, she would vehemently recite Shakespeare and moisten Walcott’s mind in the flowering classics of English literature. Books in English classic literature were a life-line in his upbringing. In the same breath , Walcott was inwardly marinating thoughts of equality and race and his imbued passion for British poetry. According to Guy Ellis and David McFadden in The Associated Press, dated March 17, 2017, Walcott reflected that,

[“wrestling contradiction of being white in mind and black in body, as if the flesh were coal from which the spirit like tormented smoke writhed to escape.” But he overcame that inner struggle, writing: “Once we have lost our wish to be white, we develop a longing to become black.”]

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/03/17/poet-derek-walcott-a-caribbean-giant-and-nobel-laureate-dies-at-87.html

 

With the refreshing breeze of the Caribbean sea, Walcott as a teenager at age 14, published his first poem of 44 lines in a local newspaper, The Voice of St. Lucia; the year was 1944. The title of the poem was 1944. His poeticity in life had just begun. Unfortunately, a review of this publication was dampened in local circles by an English Catholic priest, who considered the write-up free versification as blasphemous . This did not deter Walcott.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Walcottof

Four years later, in 1948, Walcott manuscript a collection of poems, titled 25 Poems and struggled to attract a publisher. He quickly solicited the assistance of his mother, Alix for a loan of $200 to self-publish the book. Eventually he was able to sell the book himself and repaid his mother. The book was actually dedicated to his mother.

The following year, 1949, Walcott went on to publish his second book, Epitaph for the Young XII Cantos. This was the collected work that set Walcott’s epic ambition writing and shooting an arrow to Walcott’g path, leading to Omeros, which gifted him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

By the time Walcott was 19 years of age, he had this deep, inner awareness of a determined struggle against the Catholic clergy in the island territory. He wanted out. For him,

“As a young boy, he would often go out to watch the poor people living in shanties; some of whom would later appear in his autobiographical poem, ‘Another Life’. He also found the sea, with its different moods and legends, fishermen and schooners, and sounds of the sea, very fascinating.”

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/derek-walcott-110.php#Qv895Uf6LtBzeQi4.99

After the Epitaph for the Young XII Cantos (1949), Walcott completed a college programme at St. Mary’s College in St. Lucia and was offered a Colonial Development Welfare scholarship to study at the University of the West Indies in 1950. During this university study period, Walcott produced two dramas, Henri Christophe: A Chronicle (1950), and Henri Dernier – a play for radio production (1953). Mixed with numerous poems, essays and journalistic rotisserie.

Upon graduation with a B.A. (1953), and already surfing rising waves in the Caribbean literary oeuvre in poetry, compounded with plays and art crticisms, Walcott drifted to Trinidad. And it is in this Land of the Hummiing Bird that he set himself in an exploding career path to literary fame, that marked his highest achievement as Nobel Laureatte for Literature in 1992.

Chronicling Walcott’s career achievements certainly deserves more than a book-length feature (already many authors out there). It would therefore be reasonably gratifying to allow this writer to mark Walcott’s evolvement, to express a sentiment of David Biespiel, literary critic and published author of the book, A Long High Whistle, as…

an elegant West Indies murmur against history’s colonial narrative of bondage.”

And in the same breath, continues, “His poems expose the discrepancy between blooming flowers and sparkling waters with these island economies built on the history of sugar plantations and slavery and forced labor…”

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/17/511608932/derek-walcott-who-wrote-of-caribbean-beauty-and-bondage-dies-at-87

 

Between 1953-1954, Walcott entrenched himself with confidence and allure in the theatre and art critic world as he settled in Trinidad. Literature was his forte.

By 1958, Walcott caught the eyes of international glimmer, earning him a Rockefeller Foundation Grant for his brilliant play, Drums and Colours. This coveted prize earned him a view of New York City and the ears of off-Broadway Directors. His stay was short-lived. His heart longed for Trinidad. Some inner island spirit.

In 1959 Walcott made his way back to Trinidad. He decided to set up home here and organized the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. His brother and playwright, Roderick Walcott also joined him in the workshop programme. Apart from profuse writing of poems and plays, a stint of teaching was now emerging with his work. Watercolour painting was also on the pallette.

Between 1960-1968, Walcott added a stint of journalism to his work. He was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian – having his name in the local news. Yet he never swayed from his love of poetry and playwright. He explored island drumbeats of history, of slavery and indentureship, culture curating myths and superstitions in the rhapsody of folk lore.

His early poetry, such as “In a Green Night”, with its references to Andrew Marvell’s “Bermudas”, was influenced by English metaphysical poets and the classics.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/poetry/2017/03/green-night-derek-walcott-1930-2017.

As a result of a very successful launch of this book, In a Green Night, the famous Boston Brahmin poet, Robert Lowell made a spirited and special trip to meet with Walcott. This meeting led to Walcott being signed up with world class publishers, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

This amabilité between poet and publisher paved the way for a genre of Walcott’s books in the 1970’s and onwards. The list is comprehensive and absolutely impressive to view through this official web site of the Nobel Prize,

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-bibl.html

In Walcott’s continuing international acclaim, Selected Poems (1964), The Castaway (1965) and The Gulf (1969) took centre stage.

The Saint Lucia National Trust acquired Walcott’s childhood home at 17 Chaussée Road, Castries, in November 2015, opening it to the public as Walcott House in January 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Walcott

 

In 2011 Walcott copped the T.S. Eliot Prize for his collection of poems, White Egrets. In the heart of his majestic literary career, Walcott was influenced by the works of Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and classical poets in the name of Renaissant Petrarch and Middle Age Dante Alighieri. The book arrived late when Walcott was in his prime age of 80, but the collection of poems was inked with the rich backdrop of the book, Omeros.

And so now we take a serendipitous view of this book, Morning, Paramin – a collaboration between a collosal Nobel prize-winning laureate of literature, Sir Derek Walcott, and a world class figurative painter, Peter Doig, living in Trinidad since 2002.

Within the immense cosmopolitan literary amphitheatre of Walcott’s musings in poetry, plays, paintings, essays, readings, workshops and book publications to say the least, there is a sculpted bouquet of awards that embosses his life and work. For us to wit, his most important achievement was the Nobel Laureate Prize in literature in 1992 at the age of 62. His itinerary was from birthplace St. Lucia to Jamaica, then Trinidad and out of the islands to Boston in the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, other European countries and back to the Caribbean islands. For him, the world was only a small place in which he engaged in imaginings.

It was in Trinidad in 1953 that Walcott set up part-time residence, after graduating from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. His first initiative was becoming the Founding Director of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959. Most of his earlier stay was at the Hotel Normandy, but cost of living was too expensive, and he badly needed a job. Eventually, he was offered a part-time position at Boston University, and travelled back and forth to Trinidad. Later, in 1981 he received a Mac Arthur Fellowship for his magnificent theatre performances. Then he decided to take up residence in the U.S.A and continued to work at Boston University, but vacationed in Trinidad. His heart was so deeply rooted in the theatre, that he became obsessed about the quality of performers. https://books.google.ca/books?id=EOq6genaAwC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=Derek+Walcott+living+and+working+in+Trinidad&source=bl&ots=j3bF0MjgX5&sig=VHnV2No-aY78HHaiDKzaIWrzZ9g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifkej2_7bTAhVB6YMKHRBGApI4ChDoAQgsMAI#v=onepage&q=Derek%20Walcott%20living%20and%20working%20in%20Trinidad&f=false

 

While working with the Trinidad Express as a journaist, , he came into contact with an emerging West Indian and Trinidadian writer, Viadhar S. Naipaul. They both became friends with common interests in the arts and literature. They both captured the Nobel Laureate prize in literature, although this grandiose achievement happened nine years apart – Walcott in 1992, and Naipaul in 2001.

However, Walcott soon became suspect as Naipaul’s nemesis. In an earlier interview with Naipaul in 1961, Walcott mustered Naipaul to be “one of the most mature West Indian writers”. Yet later, in 1964 Walcott’s critical commentary of Naipaul’s Mr. Stone and The Knight’s Companion, refracted a fanning of a thin biographical veil of generation change, an epic acclaim of rootlessness, a sense of shocking failure of people in the Caribbean scalding in colonialism and post-colonialism, and a splurge of disinheritance. The feud never faded, but evolved in name-calling, even accusations of racism bordering on Walcott’s African heritage and Naipaul’s Indian indentureship from India.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2017-03-25/walcott-journalist

 

Walcott had many wives in his long life and career. In 1954 he married Fay Moston, a secretary – divorced her in 1959; one son, Peter Walcott.

In 1962 Walcott married Margaret Maillard. Almoner in a hospital – divorced in 1976; two daughters, Elizabeth and Anna.

In 1976 Walcott married Norline Metivier, actress – divorced in 1993.

 

1993 – 2017 a long time companion in former art gallery owner, Sigrid Nama.

 

Yet we will forever remember Sir Derek Walcott as an astute creative artist, and a magnificent Nobel Laureate in literature, saying to us …

DW Quote 001 PNG

https://www.pinterest.com/loriarmour78/derek-walcott/

 

 

 

Sunny Rain-n-Snow: An Olio of Poetry for Pleasure by U Atreya Sarma – Book Review by Leonard Dabydeen

March 18, 2017

 

BOOK: Sunny Rain-n-Snow, AN OLIO OF POETRY FOR PLEASURE by U Atreya Sarma

BOOK BY U ATREYA SARMA PNG

BOOK REVIEW by Leonard Dabydeen

Publisher: Partridge India, 2016

ISBN-10: 1482868547

ISBN-13: 978-1482868548

Pages 158

Paperback $ 9.99 | Rs 399 | Flipkart Rs 360

Kindle $ 2.54 | Rs 169

EBOOK (Google Play) Rs 118.30

A rich garland of flowers splendiferous with life.

To be able to explode with tremendous joy and felicity at making your first impression is simply a memorable life-experience. This is undoubtedly the magnolia, caviar feeling of U Atreya Sarma on the presentation of his debut olio of poetry book, Sunny Rain -n-Snow – set in a bundle of 139 pages in a melange of 63 poems curated in 12 interlocking sections, spanning delectable tidings from prior social media/anthologies between 2009-2014. In the Foreword helm, popular Mumbai literary academic, Dr. Sunil Sharma elicited that this book, “Sunny Rain-n-Snow is about living and loving life.” And the author, Atreya espouses in the Preface that the ambience of the poems “vary according to the theme – from gravity to levity, from anger to angst, from sympathy to empathy, from ardour to humour.” This, in brief, regales a sumptuous gourmet of the vagaries of living in the richness of poetry. As Leonard Cohen says, “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/leonardcoh107228.html)

Unequivocally, the launch of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow by author Atreya Sarma on December 18, 2016 at Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad was a huge success. It was garlanded by a wealth of literary goliaths to wit, Dr. K B Gopalam (Special Guest), Dr. T Mukherjee (Chief Guest), Dr. Kondal Rao (Distinguished Guest), Mr. Chepuru Subbarao (Guest of Honour) and Ms Padmaja lyengar (Guest of Honour). And in his FaceBook page on December 24, 2016, author Atreya infectiously and jubilantly echoed the voice of his distinguished guests, saying that the book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow is, “ A BOOK FOR ALL SEASONS AND FOR ALL REASONS … FOR EVERY AGE GROUP AND FOR EVERY TASTE BUD – BOTH FOR PLEASURE AND FOR GOOD ENGLISH WITH DELECTABLE DICTION”

So let me bring this accolade of Atreya, as a superb master wordsmith, into perspective by visiting randomly some of the categories of the poems in this book, Sunny Rain- n-Snow . In the first category, Femina , it is all about the emancipation of women – pointing in the direction of their freedom with a sense of raison d’être. In poem #1, A housewife’s lib (Mar 14, 2009), the housewife sensuously pleads in the second stanza,

I don’t mind your spend on your cigarettes and drinks,

On your games and parties, on your lavish tips…

But spare me some pin-money, for my simple wants.

Once in two months, take me out for a cinema,

Or to a hotel, or a picnic.

(p 3)

And in line three of the last stanza, the poet endears the soul of women’s freedom,

Nothing more I desire, my dear!

(p 3)

This appeal is so trenchant; so inviting for answer. Which reminds me of Caroline Kennedy’s She Walks in Beauty – A Woman’s Journey Through Poems…”Poetry shapes an endless conversation about the most important things in life.” Just make it simple.

In the second category titled, Facets of Nature, author Atreya delights us with a virtual incandescent glow of nature, almost surreal in poem # 9, Terrace Twilight (July 10, 2011). Take a read in the second stanza,

As doles of doves perch on the roofs holding review conferences;

Blithe boys howl, bowl and bat in their narrow streets.

As the whirrs of vehicles zigzag in every direction beneath the top tranquility;

Psalms from temples and azans from minarets compliment the ambient music.

(p 18)

So ravishingly immense imagery almost flowing in a dream-like stream of evening bliss. Placement of the reader on this ‘Terrace’ is, in the words of T.S. Eliot, From the Pages of the Wasteland and Other Poems …”Like a patient etherised upon a table;” And Atreya captures Nature with cordial comfort.

In the third section, Epiphanies, in poem # 17, Nocturnal bliss (Mar 19, 2009) the poet completes his day’s activities, satiated with the results and headed home in his Wagon R at (first stanza, line two)

…two-fifteen in the night/

(p 36)

And then begins to experience that …

Eerie silence on the road…/

(second stanza, line one)

It is the kind of creepy, uncanny feeling of loneliness that feeds fear in the mind, until (stanza nine),

Alas! My psychedelic happiness

Came to an abrupt reluctant stop

As I reached my home

Sooner than I liked.

(p 37)

And here author Atreya brings his reader to true ‘Nocturnal bliss’. Drama, suspense codified in imagination. Good poetry.

Let us reel to category eight, Reflectively yours, and take a look at poem # 44, Unpaid watchman (Feb 5, 2009),

Throw him a little morsel of food

Just for once, though by chance.

An then shoo him away,

Or stone him to bleed;

Yet he wags his tail in gratitude

And stays a life long shadow –

That free unpaid watchman

The simple dog.

(p 89)

Here Atreya brings to his reader the surreal juxtaposition of life. The dog being man’s best friend, treated with wafted depreciation, yet displays that trusted allegiance – being a ‘free unpaid watchman’. This is the virtue of life and living. The faith of the dog so ensconced.

In the section that follows, Social bristles, in tango with five insightful poems, the author cleverly espouses his brush with nuances of society. He makes a rendezvous to current political riff raff on terrorism, noting in poem #45, A tryst with the terrorist (p 93) being selected as the Editor’s Choice, Muse India, May-June 2009 issue. In the first stanza of The Monologue, Atreya writes,

Does a lion dialogue with his prey?

He just charges and strikes his quarry.

Why should I tarry?

I’d simply finish off whose face I detest.

I should be the master of all I survey.

(p 93)

Such verisimilitude defies negation, considering our present-day war-mongering nations. And Atreya assuages the reader with sagacious satori in The Epilogue of this poem – an acrostic: TERRORISM – in the last three lines,

In terms of eschatology, ‘Hells-where,’ if not on earthly loci.

Symphony of divergent notes, symbiotic existence of all beings,

My dear brothers, is the Divine Design, whatever be our (sch)ism!

(p 94, Jan 10, 2009)

Other categories of earlier poems, to include Facets of Nature, Americana, Musings on poetry, Relations & equations, Romantic peeps, Reflective yours, and further on to include Tongue-in-cheek, Occasional voices and Metrical forays, enticingly concatenate with symbiotic richness to colour the bouquet of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow. Atreya makes you feel sumptuously gratified, at ease and muse-full with his thoughtful selections. Applauding entertainment read. And the reader is justifiably delighted to suss out on any listing of choice.

In the last category, Metrical forays, and in poem #60 Limericks (pp 131-133), there are nine limericks spanning 2009-2015. Fun to read. The next poem, #61 Swimming snare is a sonnet based on a personal experience by Atreya in the Isle of Gujarat. He says, in the last stanza,

Into waters unknown never venture,

Lest yours be a fatal misadventure.

(p 135)

A bad experience stays in your memory. A good experience is a joy forever.

In the next poem, #62 The Caribbean Coolies: An enduring saga (A ballad), the author takes us into harsh realities of history of Indian indentureship of coolies from India to the Caribbean via ships that sailed through the kala pani of the Atlantic ocean. The imagery intense and horrifying as in the first six lines of the second stanza,

Cut off from families and country

On a voyage risky

Of starvation and seduction

By crew – white or blacky.

The ship of disease, births and deaths

Debarked the tired coolies

(p136)

An emotionally exploding journey reflecting my own heritage from the Caribbean archipelago – from Guyana, South America. The coolies worked in sugar plantations, and (see first four lines in the last stanza of this poem),

They scrimped and saved, to school their kids

Who came to occupy

Positions of social respect

And bring forth by and by

(p137)

Atreya, without hesitation, mentions the names of great Indians in the like of Cheddi Jagan, Naipaul, Ramphal and Chanderpaul. The poem, in conjunction with the last poem in the book, The case of a chronic rake, was awarded third place in the Metverse Muse Fixed Form Poetry Contest 2014 – Category B.

This superb debut collection of poems, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, by author Atreya is unequivocally a connoisseur bundle. It is rich in variegated ambiences of life, sometimes drifting the reader from one city, or country, and yet returning to its fulcrum, the author himself. The poems are intuitively selected by the author for their positive comments and encouraging accolades in forums such as Face Book, PoemHunter.com, Hans India, Muse India and Triveni – India’s renowned literary and cultural quarterly. The back cover of the book emphatically highlights the exuberance of Atreya’s prolific literary workmanship. His diverse and emblematic experiences range from being a poet of par excellence with over 700 published poems, a super-analytic book-reviewer, a fervently enthusiastic editor – Chief Editor Muse India, and a bolstering translator – from Telugu to English. He is also an acclaimed literary freelancer for more than two decades to date, with many Forewords to his belt.

During the exciting framework for the launching of Sunny Rain-n-Snow, many poets have sung their delighted praises to shower enthusiasm  for the launch, namely Ambika Ananth, Bengaluru, Poetry Editor, museindia.com; Avril Meallem, Jerusalem; Dr Charanjeet Kaur, Thane, Chief Editor, museindia.com; Elanaagu ( Dr Surendra Nagaraju), Hyderabad; Gopal Lahiri, Mumbai; Dr Kiriti Sengupta, Kolkata; Sanjeev Sethi, Mumbai; and Ush Kishore, Isle of Man. Also, inclusive in this ravishing literary flagship are many book reviewers, to mention Amazon.com five stars emblem review by Abhigyan and Amazon Customer (https://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Rain-n-Snow-U-Atreya-Sarma/dp/1482868547), Jaydeep Sarangi – Faculty Department of English, Univ.of Calcutta and Betty Oldmeadow – Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England.

In the heart of a wondrous maiden voyage of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow stands a prudent discovery of the author, U Atreya Sarma. From his wistful years of growing up with his parents, and slipping through the wish-hold of his father to become a medical doctor, to torpedoing with seamless urge to be the best wordsmith with Himalayan power in English literature, is evidently reflective of his academic achievement. Always a voracious reader of English, he careened his way vehemently to the top through colleges and universities from obtaining a BSc (Botany, Zoology and Chemistry) to a BA (English literature, Sanskrit literature and History), to a P.G. in Mass Communications & Telugu Translation Techniques), to a Masters degree in English Literature. He also obtained his CAIIB (Part 1) – with mid-level experience.

Atreya’s literary achievements are too voluminous to script in this review, but undoubtedly underscores the depth of Sir Francis Bacon’s visionary quote: “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” And his effulgence for literature, particularly poetry, comes with Atreya’s own opus operatum: “Poetry is life in words; life is poetry in action.” In the Setu magazine, under the headline, My World and Words, Atreya takes us through the flowering of his maiden voyage to launch this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, An Olio of Poetry For Pleasure in stages: Soil, Root, Stem and  Fruit –

http://www.setumag.com/2017/01/sangeeta-sharma-interviews-u-atreya.html

http://www.setumag.com/2017/02/U-A-Sarma-world-and-words.html

On his approach to Selfhood, Atreya takes us through an intuitive experience,

http://episteme.net.in/phocadownloadpap/userupload/March2015/WritersInSpotlight/1-interview%20of%20atreya%20sarma%20updated.pdf

In conversation with Dr. Kiriti Sengupta in Research Scholar, An International Refereed e-Journal of Literary Explorations, Atreya enlightens us with more insight of the authorship of his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow,

http://www.researchscholar.co.in/downloads/83-dr.-kiriti-sengupta.pdf

REF: http://www.researchscholar.co.in, ISSN 2320-6101, Vol.1, Issue IV, November, 2013.

My own savvy with Atreya as a literary wordsmith was just over a year ago, when I read his poem, A Housewife Supplicates! (p 17) in the Triveni e-Journal Quarterly, Jan-March 2016. Incidentally, this is the first poem in his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, under the title, A housewife’s lib. Then again I read his works in the Triveni e-Journal Quarterly, July-Sept 2016, and again I happened on a review of his debut book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow  (p 64) by Jayendra Singha Ray.  This review was alongside my own book review of Nomadic Nights (p 64), by author and poet, Indira Babbellapati. Later, I discovered Atreya in Muse India as Chief Editor while I was making my poetry take root in My Space section.

In view of this literary interaction, Atreya and I became friends on FaceBook, sharing poems and comments to pass time in literary ruminations. When his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow was launched on December 18, 2016, I prompted a request to Atreya of my wish to do a book review. The book arrived a month later, with my response to Atreya in a little tit for tat poem,

THE ARRIVAL

Middle of day

 Eyes catch the skies

 In their mystical optical

 I open the cold mail-box

 I reach for Sunny Rain-n-Snow

 And the Partridge sighs

 With the arrival of

 U Atreya Sarma….

The end of this review now brings you with only one intrigue and intent: make this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow your reader’s choice #1. Introduce the book to a friend. Poetry will bring joy in your life. Poetry will change your life. You will certainly appreciate a glimpse of a friend in Atreya Sarma U. Look forward for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In A Graveyard

March 5, 2017

 

 graveyard-halloween-wall-paper-jpeg

 Curse of the Devil

in darkness of a graveyard

tombstones do not lie

ghosts will walk in the night

reading names of friends

and foes alike

in marbled italic inscriptions

how they will guffaw

at the memory

in eulogizing joy

pointing a witch’s wand

at some Mc Coy Donald guy

but cry in rivulet woes

for a child washed ashore

from the Mediterranean sea

and that Syrian mother refugee

that ached for freedom

now set free for eternity

and soldier-boy shot down

in rough terrains in Afghanistan

an old man dressed in khurta and dhoti

aged beyond a century

some ghosts will be silent

like the graves that be

but welcome us all

as the night awaits for you

and for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Maha Shivaratri

February 25, 2017

CELEBRATION OF MAHA SHIVARATRI – LORD SHIVA’S BLESSINGS!!

CELEBRATION OF MAHA SHIVARATRI : WISHING ALL GUYANESE ONLINE FRIENDS

PEACE, PROSPERITY AND HAPPINESS IN GUYANA AND AROUND THE WORLD.

LORD SHIVA’S BLESSINGS!!

shiva

                                                           Lord Shiva Drinking Poison

 

The Night of Shiva

by Leonard Dabydeen

 

Night

of

darkness

Phalguna

Lord Shiva Linga

worship with devotion for love

throw ignorance and negativity to the wind

let spring of joy and prosperity unfurl with regal pomp for peace and happiness.

 

A Fib Poem

http://www.theholidayspot.com/shivratri/origin.htm

 

Gothic Bride of Tombsville

October 26, 2016

 

GOTHIC BRIDE OF TOMBSVILLE

Tombsville JPEG.jpg

Elizabetha prances nimbly in the room

Her waist-long hair sparkling

Like Indian diamonds in dawn of moonlight

Eyes glowing like coal fire

Thump, thump, thump her red shoes echo

Stirring bat-like creatures flitting to and fro

Across cob-webby ceiling

Litter with dangling, dead dragon flies

 

Gothic Bride JPEG.jpg

How much longer must she wait, she ponders

Pouting her ruby red lips at the rattling door

An angry bat reels in flight

Slamming bone-plastered door

Squeak, squeak, squeak the door wails

With creaky, rustic hinges moaning

Elizabetha screams in drumming impatience

Then dead bolt frees door ajar

And she heaves in delight

As whiffs of flesh-roasted incense

Linger into her nostrils

To signal her groom’s arrival

Through the Gates of Tombsville.

 

Our First Lady: Michelle Obama

October 19, 2016

As Our First Lady: Michelle Obama

 

She has rhythm in her prance

Her color rich without askance

Nothing in her stride to hide

As our First Lady surfing the tide.

 

Brisk is her walk to a podium

She delivers her messages without idiom

Her hands move with her expression

As our First Lady holds no obsession.

 

You cannot attempt to grab her thoughts

So much to admire the way she walks

She strives for family, women’s rights

As our First Lady turns on the lights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musepie Press Shot Glass Journal Issue #20 – Poems by Leonard Dabydeen

October 1, 2016

SHOT GLASS JOURNALshot glass                                                               Issue #20 September 2016

 “… brevity is the soul of wit …”

 – William Shakespeare
Welcome

Shot Glass Journal is an on-line poetry journal devoted to short poetry. Where other poetry journals publish poems of various lengths and forms, Shot Glass focuses on both free verse and form poetry of 16 lines or less. Shot Glass Journal believes in fostering emerging talent as well as publishing well established poets.

We hope you enjoy Issue #20, which features US and International sections. You will also find a Glossary of poetry forms which represent some of the poems published in Shot Glass issues.

Why only short poetry? It is far more difficult to capture a message in fewer words and still have an effect on a reader. Shot Glass is dedicated to those poets who have much to say in the fewest words possible. As William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “…brevity is the soul of wit…”

International Poets

Art of Night

 

Night has no dark colour
just sinews of grey
with braids of light
shimmering glory
straight down on earth
moon gathering loneliness
with frenzy of light
reaching for the sky
clouds so silent
so cunning
and surreptitious
listening to forest muse
cities of concrete jungle
blast horns on winding roads
a ship comes to shore
from the aging seas.

 

Aloneness

In my coming days
what do you ask of me
what are your expectations
and where do I begin
as I dwell at the crossroads
of being and wanting to be
like clouds drifting
under clear blue skies
gathering thoughts
rummaging vicissitudes of life
in my silence
I have many dreams
I navigate identities
I sculpt loneliness
rooting banyan trees
I felicitate aloneness.