18 April 2008


I had no idea that Aimé Césaire, the Martinique poet, playwright, political intellectual and politician, was until yesterday still alive, when he died at the age of 94. I have never been an uncritical admirer, but his 1939 poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (translated as Return to my Native Land) is one of the most stunning works of 20th-century Modernist poetry – up there with the best of T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, the Surrealists and the Futurists. The Times has an obituary here.

No comments: