The Book Depository Omeros by Derek Walcott

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The Book Depository Omeros by Derek Walcott
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Description: Omeros : Paperback : Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc : 9780374523503 : 0374523509 : 30 Jun 1992 : A poem of circular narrative design, titled with the Greek name for Homer, which simultaneously charts two currents of history: the visible history charted in events -- the tribal losses of the American Indian, the tragedy of African enslavement -- and the interior, unwritten epic fashioned from the suffering of the individual in exile. The Book Depository Omeros by Derek Walcott - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Product ID: 9780374523503

MPN: 0374523509

GTIN: 9780374523503

 
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Author: Dr. Mark A. Patton

Rating: 5

Review: Not a collection of poetry, but an epic novel in verse. It must take some confidence, on the part of an author, to write consciously in the tradition of Homer, Virgil, Dante and Milton, but that is exactly what Walcott does here, continuing a conversation that began more than 2000 years ago, and bringing the New World into this conversation. There are echoes of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” in the way in which Walcott incorporates the everyday lives of ordinary people into his narrative (much of the story centres around the St Lucian fishermen, Hector and Achille, rivals in love for a housemaid named Helen; and around a pig-farmer named Dennis Plunkett, a former soldier who regrets the passing of the British Empire), but Walcott and his characters also meditate on the history of their homelands, with reflections on the Transatlantic slave-trade, the 18th Century battle for the Caribbean between Britain & France; and the treatment of native peoples in North America. Most of the narrative is written in hexameter (with some passages in pentameter), but rhyme is used only sporadically, giving this poetic narrative a surprisingly modern feel. The characters and the landscape leap off the pages of this gloriously crafted work, which deserves to endure for as long as the works that inspired it.

 

Author: Mr. Bennett J. Dunn

Rating: 3

Review: I called the poem epic, because that is of course what Walcott is aiming at. I called it 'dreary' because that is how I found it. How on earth can one draw a comparison between this, and Virgil's 'Aeneid'; Homer's 'Odyssey'; and Milton's 'Paradise Lost'? Actually one CAN draw a comparison, because Omeros draws on all the devices OF epic tradition: journey, 'battle', reference to the past, hubris (in a changed sense) and probably many more which I didn't pick up on. I'm sure that as a modern 'instance' of epic, Walcott ticks all the boxes with his poem, and if you're disposed to trawl through it you may appreciate his artistry. My problem with Omeros is that I found it terrifically dull (with the small exception of the play of 'the Gods' as a metaphor for a storm). And especially so, by comparison with the epics it is supposed to follow in the line of. My expectation is if you love the 'Odyssey' and the 'Aeneid', you probably won't think much of this, but if you worship and adore Milton, you may find 'Omeros' satisfying.

 

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