Derek Walcott, a St. Lucian Nobel Laureate, has launched a poetic attack on the person and work of another Nobel Prize Winner, someone more known in our part of the world, VS Naipaul from Trinidad.
Walcott presented his new poem ‘The Mongoose‘ to conclude a session of readings from his new book “White Egrets” at the Calabash Literary Festival (May 26-28) in Jamaica.
The extract of the poem comes from ‘Rhyme and Punishment for Naipaul‘ by Daniel Trilling of (June 1, 2008) The Observer
An extract from ‘The Mongoose’
I have been bitten, I must avoid infection
Or else I’ll be as dead as Naipaul’s fiction
Read his last novels, you’ll see just
what I mean
A lethargy, approaching the obscene
The model is more ho-hum than Dickens
The essays have more bite
They scatter chickens like critics, but
each stabbing phrase is poison
Since he has made that snaring style
The plots are forced, the prose
sedate and silly
The anti-hero is a prick named Willie
Who lacks the conflict of a Waugh or Lawrence
And whines with his creator’s
The mongoose was brought to the Caribbean from India by the British. Looking for the complete text of the poem.
Information pointed to by Ijaz Syed.
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