Book Four--Walcott in North America


I. Walcott in New England reflects on the imperial past of the U.S.
Il. Back in Brookline, a suburb of Boston, Walcott struggles with his recent divorce and the resulting loneliness.
Ill. The curse on the house


I. Walcott in a plane over the Dakota sees a Crow horsemen and reflects on Manifest Destiny and its impact.
Il. He compares his divorce to the loss on land the Native Americans underwent after the introduction of the railroad.
Ill. The scene switches to Catherine Weldon, a teacher and missionary among the Sioux in the Dakotas, who sings an elegy on Indian summer for the muses :


I. Walcott visits The Trail of Tears and reflects on the connections between Greek slavery, Southern slavery, and the treatment of the Native Americans.
Il. Catherine Weldon recalls her return from the Plains to New York.  (There is no historical evidence, by the way, that Weldon ever knew Wild Bill Cody.)
Ill. Weldon in her final letter decries the betrayal of treaties.  Walcott is reading a book (about her?) and sees in Weldon the potential for a character.  He hears in her the question of whether Christianity is for the Indians.


I. Walcott at a Boston museum finds Achille in Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream and reflects on the imperialism of Melville in Moby Dick.  Walcott finds he can't flag a cab after dark in Boston due to his skin color.
Il. He reflects on the fear of race in Boston.
Ill. Walcott on a cold beach meets his father's ghost again, who tells Walcott that he must travel to the great cities of Europe before he returns to cherish St. Lucia's simplicity.

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"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding