Saint Lucia, twitterati pay tribute to Nobel Laureate Walcott

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Castries, March 18 (IANS) Twitter on Saturday was flooded with posts paying tribute to Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, who died on the island of Saint Lucia at 87.

The Saint Lucia government and the Nobel Prize academy were among others which, via twitter, paid tribute to the writer.

The Office of the Governor General of Saint Lucia, in an official statement, confirmed that Walcott died at his house in Cap Estate on Friday morning.

“Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1992 ‘for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment’,” the Nobel Prize team wrote in its official website.

The Saint Lucia government paid tribute to the poet and tweeted: “St. Lucian poet, playwright, and Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Alton Walcott, has passed. Sir Derek was 87 years old.”

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Chastanet, in a brief address, said that Derek was an icon and offered condolences to his family.

“When everyone speaks of excellence, the two names that stand tall in Saint Lucia’s history are Sir Arthur Lewis, and Sir Derek Walcott. As such, today is a historical day, as it marks the passing of Sir Derek,” Chastanet said.

“His is a household name, as he made himself so available and participated in many national and local events in Saint Lucia. It has become customary for all of us to see Sir Derek, and to know that he was here all the time. There is one thing that Derek truly was a Caribbean patron. He was always very consistent about being Caribbean, and being original.”

Ava DuVernay, an American director and screenwriter, tweeted: “For poets, it is always morning in the world. The fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world — in spite of history — Derek Walcott.”

Twitter handler Olivia Hope posted Walcott’s poem “Love after love” and said: “Walcott has died. This is a wonderful poem about being kind to yourself.”

Another handler Nayyirah Waheed condoled the death and prayed that Walcott may rest in peace.

Victoria MacCallum in his twitter account, said: “The writer of one of my favourite poems, which is stuck on my bedroom mirror and I read most days, died.”

Walcott was born in Saint Lucia in 1930.

–IANS

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