Annals of Humanities and Development Studies

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Rewriting the Caribbean experience in Homerian style: a study of themes, style and vision in Derek Walcott’s Omeros

Mathias Iroro Orhero


This study investigates the themes that bother upon the Caribbean experience in Derek Walcott’s Omeros. A brief introduction to the poetry of Derek Walcott is given before attempts are made at rendering some of the themes of the work such as identity, slavery/colonialism, rootlessness, reconciliation, and migration. These themes are discussed with relevant extracts from the poem. It is realised that the poem is a re-enactment of the total Caribbean experience in all its totality. However, the study goes further to underscore the peculiar Homerian style of the poem. The style is discussed with regards to the extant epics of Homer and Dante and some of the stylistic indicators discovered include the use of the epic genre itself, the use of the terza rima, statement of theme, the use of symbolism and imagery and, of course, the language of the poem. These stylistic devices are used to underscore the importance of the poem in the Caribbean literary canon. Finally, Derek’s Walcott’s ultimate vision of reconciliation is briefly examined in this work. Findings show that this poem is Derek Walcott’s seminal masterpiece on reconciliation for the Caribbean people.

Keywords: Derek Walcott, Caribbean, Homerian, Themes, Techniques

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