The poems in this sequence of fifty-four were written to encompass one year, from summer to summer. Their principal themes are the stasis, both stultifying and provocative, of midsummer in the tropics; the pull of the sea, family, and friendship on one whose cricumstances lead to separation; the relationship of poetry to painting; and the place of a poet between two cultures.
Walcott records, with his distinctive linguistic blend of soaring imagery and plainly stated facts, the experience of a mid-lief period--in reality and in memory or the imagination. As Louis Simpson wrote on the publication of Wacott's The Fortunate Traveller, "Walcott is a spellbinder. Of how many poets can it be said that their poems are compelling--not a mere stringing together of images and ideas but language that delights in itself, rhythms that seem spontaneous, scenes that are vividly there?...The poet who can write like this is a master."
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