Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2010. The Poetry Book Society view... Derek Walcott’s famously fierce devotion to craft is confirmed again by this series of sonnet variations which confront and defy the fears about age expressed previously in The Prodigal. He wrote: “there was only one subject – time”, which is his subject here. An undulating sea-swell of repeated words, and patterns of rhymes, deployed as a unifying and developmental strategy for the various sections, amplifies the sense of mortality as a driving force. Walcott’s characteristic allusions to myth and literature, in counterpoint to the exploitations of empire, suggest their own inescapable analogies with this theme.