Sample Essay

Omeros is a blend of ‘harmony, closure, structure, thematic unity’ with ‘none of the ironic disclaimers and compositional disruptions’[1] Walcott uses imagery in order to enhance the beauty of the poem as well as to associate the imagery with the themes. Nature is presented as guiding and healing force for the human beings in the poem. Not only this but it also represents salvation. The conflicts are resolved with the intervention of Nature.

The imagery of sea-swift, egret, gulls, ants, rain, volcano, leg wound, and some other imageries which capture the attention and interest of the readers. The most important of the image is that of sea-swift which serves as a unifying element in the long poem. Moreover the signifance of the swift is evident from the fact that the poem/epic commences with the image of the swift and ends with the same image. It is the swift which guides Achille towards his native land in Africa thus it stands for the guidance of God. Moreover swift also symbolizes the notion of fertility and reproduction as is evident from the scene when it brings seed in its stomach. The sea-swift is described by the poet with vividness as ‘her speed outdarted memory’ and that ‘she circled epochs with her outstretched span; she gave a straight answer when one was required’[2] This ‘engine/ that shot ahead of each question like an answer’[3]. The swift also symbolizes thought.

[1] Charles Lock “Derek Walcott’s Omeros: Echoes from a White-throated Vase.” Massachusetts Review (2000): 9-23.

[2] Walcott 131

[3] Walcott 130

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