I chose Omeros not only because it is one of my favorite books, but also because it offers something for everyone in the club. Some will want to analyze the poetry, others colonialism and history, others the allusions to the classical literature, still others the author’s personal journey, etc. It is a long book. My first time I read it slowly out loud, purposefully as therapy for my vocal organs and it was a most enjoyable therapy! It took me a long time, but I grew to appreciate Walcott’s poetry. I don’t think it is possible to read the whole epic poem quickly. I suggest you allow time.
I imagine Walcott carrying a notebook and writing down one of the parts of a chapter as he is inspired by his surroundings or his musings. Then later assembling and lightly revising them into a whole. This helps me accept the varying points of view of the chapters – sometimes writing about his own personal experiences and sometimes absorbed in the experiences of Achille or others. In my reading about Walcott’s work style, it seems he is much more systematic and driven than I imagine. [See The Paris Review link below.] But it helps me to imagine his working style my way.
It also helps me analyze this very long and complex poem. It gives me permission to focus on one book or chapter or aspect at a time. I suggest you give yourselves that permission, at least for the purposes of our discussion in November.
There are many articles on the web about Omeros and Derek Walcott. I have found many of them helpful.