Over the weekend, Teju Cole reviewed Derek Walcott’s The Poetry of Derek Walcott: 1948-2013. David Biespel thinks the piece was a disaster:
A summary of Cole’s review of Walcott might go like this: Derek Walcott is a Caribbean poet who is from the Caribbean. When he writes, he uses grammar, rhyme, meter, and (too much) description. He likes metaphor. The review doesn’t really discuss what Derek Walcott has been writing about or why for the last sixty years. The review skims the importance of Walcott’s subjects, ignores who Walcott’s influences have been (well, I mean here I’m a frankly stunned not to have read the name Robert Lowell), and doesn’t define in what context Walcott’s poems have been fashioned, and why that matters, especially for a poet with worldwide influence and importance.