Endings by Derek Walcott
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
Good night, Derek Walcott, sir. Thank you for your poems. Rest easy now.
Things do not explode,
they fail, they fade,
as sunlight fades from the flesh,
as the foam drains quick in the sand,
even love’s lightning flash
has no thunderous end,
it dies with the sound
of flowers fading like the flesh
from sweating pumice stone,
everything shapes this
till we are left
with the silence that surrounds Beethoven’s head.
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This poem appeared in Collected Poems 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986. Shared here with profound gratitude.
Read more works by Derek Walcott • Find books by this poet • Or view my library
Explore poems in pursuit of: journeys • mortality • the body • Or browse the index
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