Friday Poem

Map of the New World

1. Archipelagoes

At the end of this sentence, rain will begin.
At the rain’s edge, a sail.

Slowly the sail will lose sight of the islands;
into a mist will go the belief in harbors
of an entire race.

The ten-years war is finished.
Helen’s hair, a grey cloud.
Troy a white ashpit
by the drizzling sea.

The drizzle tightens like the strings of a harp.
A man with clouded eyes picks up the rain
and plucks the first line of the Odyssey.

by Derek Walcott
Collected Poems 1948-1984
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984