I never thought of my gift—I have to say “my gift” because I believe it is a gift—as anything that I did completely on my own. I have felt from my boyhood that I had one function and that was somehow to articulate, not my own experience, but what I saw around me. From the time I was a child I knew it was beautiful. If you go to a peak anywhere in St. Lucia, you feel a simultaneous newness and sense of timelessness at the same time—the presence of where you are. It’s a primal thing and it has always been that way. At the same time I knew that the poor people around me were not beautiful in the romantic sense of being colorful people to paint or to write about. I lived, I have seen them, and I have seen things that I don’t need to go far to see. I felt that that was what I would write about. That’s what I felt my job was. It’s something that other writers have said in their own way, even if it sounds arrogant. Yeats has said it; Joyce has said it. It’s amazing Joyce could say that he wants to write for his race, meaning the Irish. You’d think that Joyce would have a larger, more continental kind of mind, but Joyce continued insisting on his provinciality at the same time he had the most universal mind since Shakespeare. What we can do as poets in terms of our honesty is simply to write within the immediate perimeter of not more than twenty miles really.
— derek walcott, the art of poetry no. 37

shelly shan

hi, my name is shelly. I do a thing where I make words into unnecessarily emotional composites. I don't know why I'm allowed on the internet, but I like it here.