The Fist- Derek Walcott

This piece is by St. Lucian poet and playwright Derek Walcott. I stumbled upon him as I was researching Caribbean poets last week and this week; in my goal of learning more about poets from that part of the world. This poem spoke to me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. There is something dynamic about the line, “When have I ever not loved/the pain of love?” That is such a beatiful line and it drew me in completely. I am looking into adding some Walcott volumes to my poetry collection.

I hope you all enjoy The Fist.


The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved

past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.


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