Fall 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 4 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1992 |

Nightmare History: Derek Walcott’s “Omeros”

Omeros by Derek Walcott. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990. 325 pages. $25.00. I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I see, I know the man that must hear me: To him my tale I teach. COLERIDGE, Rime of the Ancient Mariner Derek Walcott has labored these forty years and more to free himself of the albatross he terms "history"; and whether or not he has succeeded in escaping its accursed grip, Walcott remains, like the Mariner, obsessed with the tale of his struggles. The publication in 1990 of Omeros marked the latest and most ambitious effort of this Caribbean Mariner to appease the ghosts of his own mixed heritage while refining a poetics, many years in the making, which seeks to harmonize the conflicting demands of history and art. Omeros will likely stand as its author's definitive response to the vexations of history, into whose untender scheme Walcott was born in 1930 on the island of Saint Lucia,

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Omeros by Derek Walcott. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990. 325 pages. $25.00. I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; That moment […]

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