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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so rich and never full of itself
I didn't know the work of Derek Walcott until I ran into this book. What an amazing book it is! I used to dislike epic poems - they usually just ramble on and on, preferably made to rhyme in the correct places but in such a way that all life is taken out of the lines. This book is different & its author is no less than a genius.

Sometimes I can't really grasp...
Published on 24 May 2008 by J. R. P. Wigman

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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dreary Epic
I called the poem epic, because that is of course what Walcott is aiming at. I called it 'dreary' because that is how I found it. How on earth can one draw a comparison between this, and Virgil's 'Aeneid'; Homer's 'Odyssey'; and Milton's 'Paradise Lost'?

Actually one CAN draw a comparison, because Omeros draws on all the devices OF epic tradition: journey,...
Published on 23 Feb 2009 by Mr. Bennett J. Dunn


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so rich and never full of itself, 24 May 2008
By 
J. R. P. Wigman "Hans Wigman" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
I didn't know the work of Derek Walcott until I ran into this book. What an amazing book it is! I used to dislike epic poems - they usually just ramble on and on, preferably made to rhyme in the correct places but in such a way that all life is taken out of the lines. This book is different & its author is no less than a genius.

Sometimes I can't really grasp the meaning of a passage, but it doesn't really matter - each page in this book is so full of the most brilliant images & visions, that it almost seems like a book in itself. And although it's so impossibly rich in smells, colours & sounds, it never succumbs, thank God, to the kind of self-importance that sometimes overshadows the work of other truly great writers.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem, 27 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
This book one a prize or two, and attracted a lot of attention for Walcott. Maybe it was the book that swung him the Nobel Prize. There were, of course, severe critics. Craig Raine, for example. Does anyone remember that review: 'With Walcott, Homer means Coma...' No, he didn't like it. Which is his loss, I guess. But then, Walcott has always been received better in the US than he has in the UK. Readers here are perhaps uncomfortable about Walcott's tendency to speak 'for' the people of his Caribbean. But then again, maybe it is inappropriate for white middle class readers here to expect a diffidence more in line with their own etiquette than that of the West Indies, which is, of course, trying to assert an emerging identity, rather than trying to modestly demur from an Imperialist one. (Though there are British writers who employ similar strategies - Tony Harrison, for example) I don't think there have been many intelligent British readings of Walcott. Another problem is maybe a tendency for this writer to be serious, or, worse still for some people, 'earnest'. 'Omeros' can be a grave book. It plays with a tragic and an epic dimension: it renders the sufferings of ordinary Caribbean individuals with great care and sympathy. Don't be deceived. There is a subtle wit and humour always at work with Walcott. But perhaps what's most valuable about this book is the way it encourages us to readdress the classics as well, and ask the old questions about race, heroism, honour, home, identity, history and countless other timeless themes. You'll need to read and re-read this one. Walcott has a subtle accumulative power. His stanzas wash back and forth like waves against the shore. What at first might appear ordinary slowly begins to take on a deeper and deeper dimension. Go on. Make the effort. Books like this don't get written very often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful work, epic in its nature and its success., 25 Mar 2010
By 
J. Noon "morningevenoon" (Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
Make no mistake, this is not easy-going. But it is an unbelievably rich and rewarding read, if you persevere. On the basis of this poem alone, Walcott deserves the accolades he's received. It is wonderfully refreshing to read a writer who embraces different cultures, and avoids banal stereotypes or resorting to nostalgia. The poem is not merely a rewriting of Homer, but it is Walcott engaging with history, bringing down the classic from its lofty heights and applying it to ordinary people. For these fishermen, their Odyssey is the happenings of their daily lives.
My one criticism of this poem would be the inclusions of the anaphoric references to the Native Indians. To me, these parts are not completely successful, they detract from the central plot. This is but a slight detraction, though. The great strength of 'Omeros' is, without doubt, Walcott's writing. His verse is quite simply beautiful. While you may find yourself lost in the plot, you can't help but get lost in his language, and I mean this in a good way. It has a richness, a mellifluousness that seeps through the stanzas. This richness is echoed in the descriptions of St. Lucia itself, the indigenous flora, fauna, sea and sky combine to construct an image of a most beautiful island. However, language has a more powerful role in 'Omeros'. As the narrator tells us, 'this language carries its cure/its radiant affliction'. In contrast to its colonial past, the language is used as a freer, not enslaver. This is a poem about healing, about history, ancestry and about ordinary human-beings. There is an elation in this poem which is captivating. It is beautiful, breathtaking. Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Omeros - rediscovered masterpiece!, 16 Dec 2013
By 
J. Coy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
Absolutely delightful to read again and discover much autobiographical St Lucia content - now I can see this as the sequel volume of autobiography of which "Another Life" was the first (for "Another Life" I recommend Edward Baugh's Annotated edition, which for me became the key to Walcott). For example, Omeros Chapter 32 is a moving tribute to his mother . . "frail as a swift, gripping the verandah . . it was another country . . . I knew but could not connect with my mind, like my mother's amnesia; untranslatable answers . . ." Somehow I think that these epic poems should be read as two volumes of one work, one life, the life of Derek Walcott.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dreary Epic, 23 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. Bennett J. Dunn "Flaze" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
I called the poem epic, because that is of course what Walcott is aiming at. I called it 'dreary' because that is how I found it. How on earth can one draw a comparison between this, and Virgil's 'Aeneid'; Homer's 'Odyssey'; and Milton's 'Paradise Lost'?

Actually one CAN draw a comparison, because Omeros draws on all the devices OF epic tradition: journey, 'battle', reference to the past, hubris (in a changed sense) and probably many more which I didn't pick up on. I'm sure that as a modern 'instance' of epic, Walcott ticks all the boxes with his poem, and if you're disposed to trawl through it you may appreciate his artistry.

My problem with Omeros is that I found it terrifically dull (with the small exception of the play of 'the Gods' as a metaphor for a storm). And especially so, by comparison with the epics it is supposed to follow in the line of.

My expectation is if you love the 'Odyssey' and the 'Aeneid', you probably won't think much of this, but if you worship and adore Milton, you may find 'Omeros' satisfying.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic modernism, 29 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Omeros (Paperback)
I like Classical culture and literature, so when I heard Derek Walcott on the World Book Club, I decided to buy this book. Excellent book and excellent service.
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Omeros
Omeros by Derek Walcott (Paperback - 4 Mar 2002)
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