The Caribbean Writer

Safe Conduct

Derek Walcott


Rilke was whirled into heaven.
After that, Pasternak.
One smokes with the seraphim,
the other has come back


to plod past fronze ponds
with their harp-wide willows,
his grey forelock a stallion’s,
his heart like Akhmatova’s,


like a grey horse in winter
that, through thick whirling snow,
as this white page goes whiter,
whinnies, and is here.


Copyright © Derek Walcott

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