The fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world, in spite of history.
Derek Walcott, (1930-2017) a Caribbean poet,
won the Nobel Prize for poetry in 1972
“In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech Walcott said the fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world in spite of history. I think this is very profound and especially relevant to our situation today because history currently is not pretty. What’s going on with climate change, with authoritarianism, with racism, and sexism, all of which are exposing themselves like never before, it’s very easy to give up on our human condition. But Walcott is inviting us into the bigger picture. Fall in love with the world in spite of history. History is what humans do. The world is something much bigger, much more beautiful, much more ancient. It has, in fact, been serving us like a mother for all of our existence. His medicine is we need to fall in love and, more than just fall in love with the two-legged ones, we need to fall in love with the world. All this love comes with energy and the zeal—the passion to do something, to contribute, to interfere with the injustice that we see all around us. So again, I recommend Derek Walcott, fall in love with the world in spite of history.”
Fr. Matthew Fox, Ph.D. is the author of
Julian Of Norwich: Wisdom In A Time Of Pandemic And Beyond