This poet could often be seen walking the streets of Georgetown in the 1940s and '50s. He was much in demand as a dinner guest because of the brilliance of his conversation. But poetry to him was a sideline. "I am not a professional writer," he would say, "because I do not want to become a slave of work." Maybe so, but he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. His verse is highly symbolic, often evoking the sea and childhood and the tropics, in which he had traveled widely: "O seekers, O finders, of reasons to depart elsewhere, you traffic not with a stronger salt when, in the morning, in a foreshadowing of kingdoms and dead waters hung high above the smoke of the world, the drums of exile awaken on the frontiers eternity yawning upon the sands." Who is this poet?
All entries (one per person) must be clearly written on postcards and mailed to: Book Bag, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, and must include complete return address and competition number. The winning entry will be the first correct answer drawn at random. Employees of The Washington Post Company and their families are not eligible to enter. Entries must be received no later than October 25. The winner's name and city of residence will be announced in the November 4 issue. A Washington Post Book World book bag will be sent to the winner.
Answer to Book Bag #594: The American novelist who was so contemptuous of contemporary black writers was Richard Wright.
Winner: Mary Ann Wren, Rockville.