The Poetry of Place

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we're reading some of our favorite poets of place, including the renowned poet of the Caribbean, Derek Walcott, who passed away in March.   CRB153

Collected Poems, 1948-1984. The St. Lucia-born Nobel laureate, who's been known to say he's "just an island boy," writes boggling, complicated, richly rhythmical poems -- which do, in fact, owe much to the oral traditions of Walcott's boyhood (but also to Homer, Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon and "The Wasteland"). Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

The Portable Romantics. As its title implies, this is the anthology to take along on a trip to England's Lake District, Italy's Cinque Terre or any other classic haunt of the romantic poets. This selection, edited by W.H. Auden and Norman Holmes Pearson, includes works by all the masters (and even an occasional mistress). PRU132

 

The Heights of Machu Picchu. According to writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude), Pablo Neruda was the most important poet of the twentieth century -- in any language. Neruda's ode to Machu Picchu was inspired by his journey to the ancient ruins in 1943. In his balanced historical approach, Neruda celebrates the Incan civilization that created Machu Picchu while condemning the Incans' practice of slavery. For his contributions to literature, Neruda received the Nobel Prize in 1971.

Galapagos Poems. Enamored with the wildlife of the Galapagos, a professor at Manhattanville College penned this brief chapbook of poems. The short, paperbound book enlarges the animals and landscapes of the islands with grace and simple profundity. IRE65

Opened Ground. The definitive collection of poetry by Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. Chronicling his best work from the last 30 years, this volume is an invaluable piece of modern Irish literature, and a wonderful display of the evolution of an artist's style. Includes poems from The Haw Lantern, Seeing Things, North, Death of a Naturalist and other collections.

The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Mingling Highland and Lowland, the religious and the profane, poems by kings and crofters, this expansive anthology samples Scottish poetry from from the 6th century to the end of the 20th.