NO OPERA

A NEW POEM

by Derek Walcott

No opera, no gilded columns, no wine-dark seats,
no Penelope scouring the stalls with delicate glasses,
no practised ecstasy from the tireless tenor, no sweets
and wine at no interval, no altos, no basses
and violins sobbing as one; no opera house,
no museum, no actual theatre, no civic center
—and what else? Only the huge doors of clouds …

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930. He is the author of eight collections of plays and a book of essays. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. The poems published in this issue (as well as those in the October and November/December 2009 issues) are from his forthcoming collection of poems, White Egrets, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in April.

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