Walcotts Diverse View of
History in Omeros
Question: Look over the following references: what does Walcott's view of
history seem to be in Omeros? Is it consistent throughout? Does it need to be?
217No power to change the imperial past
227-229History as nostalgia; poetrys role in this.
238-239The history of the plant carried in the stomach of the swift.
242ff.Ma Kilmans return to origins to obtain the medicine
247-248Eden and return for Philoctete
258The Major walks in the footsteps of the Midshipman.
271No need for history or literature to understand Helen.
276-277Philoctetes return to pain at/for the past.
288--Walcott and Seven Seas look on the Battle of Saints
295-297The sea and history
303ff.The Major recalls past moments with Maud
309The Major gives up his history of the island.
312312The problem of framing the island in epic, classical past
313-315The Battle of the Saints and its losses.
319319East and West interlocked.
- 13In Omeros, Walcott catches the surf line across the sea and centuries.
- 15The past always suffers and stares.
- 19, 22Philoctetes wound as the burden of colonial history/slavery.
- 25Plunketts view of British colonial activity: "All history/ in a dusty
- 30-32-Plunketts notion that St. Lucia needs a history in honor of Helens
- 35-Helen imagines the old Battle of Saints.
- 43,46Faith in the old bottle and the shipwreck as trust in the past.
- 59-60The colonial atrocities of Bennett & Ward
- 77ff.Midshipman Plunkett and the Battle of the Saints
- 87-88The Majors maps and Mauds shroud
- 92ff., esp. 95-97Plunketts historical project and the Homeric connection,
also vows of empire
- 98-99Plunketts archeological dig and History "written by a flag of
- 101-103Plunketts imagined ancestor/son & the infidelity of his history.
"The great events of the world would happen elsewhere."
- 112-113Plunketts history project as a boy: "In those days, history was
- 130Achille drags up a body like the ghost of his father
- 133ff.Achilles dream journey to African past
- 137-138What the Caribbean has forgotten in naming
- 140ff.History ahead
- 155-156300 years pass for Achille
- 161-164Achilles vision of himself as a Buffalo solider & his questions
about the Aruac artifact.
- 174ff.The North American history of empire
- 177-179The connections between Greek, Roman, and American slavery.
- 182-184Museums, where "Art has surrendered/ to History with its whiff of
- Bk 5Walcott encounters the colonial past in Europe (see more below)
|Book 5--The Lessons of The Great
||The division of the New World was once between Portugal
and Spain, but now on this coast the imperial past has been forgotten.
||The Thames as at the center of empire which ignores its
margins, and the London tours are mythmakers
||They have a history, language, and faith, but also
violence and division.
||Has an epic, mythic connection with the poem; the
Odysseus myth reread.
|Istanbul & Venice
||The alienation of European artistic heritage.
||The colonial action of the U.S. toward African slaves
||The New England past had its own chains in the Puritans
and the Transcendentalists.
||Polish poets in exile.