Essay: Ultimate disillusionment in Omeros
The poem Omeros by Walcott is about the lives of four Caribbean fishermen based in St. Lucia Island who are known as Achille, Philoctete, Hector, and Seven Seas (Omeros). Philoctete suffers from a wound on the leg but a local healer known as Ma Kilman eventually treats him. A servant from a farm owned by a Mr. Plunkett by the name Helen is drawing attention of Achille and Hector. The poem also brings to the fore the different lives of the Dutch, Africans, French and the British as in slave trade and colonialism. What is more striking in the poem is the hopelessness in the narrator as he traverses the world looking for lost love but he is eventually guided by the blind Omeros and his St Lucia’s visions.
The poem has several strong points in that it uses the protagonists to portray different meanings. Homer and Dante are used in the poem to show division, lust, suffering and struggles that people of St Lucia have to go through in their every day-to-day life. Through Helen and the island, we get to see the real meaning of the people’s struggles. The fact that two men are in love with her at the same time shows that there is competition since only one should get her. Although the world of those days was full of very many difficulties the author had to travel everywhere in search of love. It also enlightens the audience on the experiences of the postcolonial era by bringing on to the fore what is happening to the nature, language, history and ancestry. It tries to compare the lives of masters and their servants, nature and humans. The Caribbean paradise is been tainted by the western imperialism. African slaves to America are been referred to as the wound that the poem is trying to heal. The poet uses language as a protagonist by writing in four different languages showing that for people to live in harmony they should not be a communication barrier. Healing can at the same time be achieved through nature as it can resolve all the conflicts.