Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Fist

The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved

past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.

Credit


"The Fist" from Collected Poems: 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 1986 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Author


Derek Walcott

Born in 1930, in the West Indies, Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

Date Published: 1986-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fist