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Walcott’s Omeros: A Reader’s Guide

Don Barnard
Walcott’s Omeros: A Reader’s Guide
ISBN: 978-1-935049-90-6
2014/285 pages/LC: 2013022164
A FirstForumPress Book
"Barnard reads Walcott with the sensitivity and understanding of a practicing poet. His work serves as a valuable companion and guide to students, to teachers, to literary critics, especially to poets, and even to the most sophisticated readers of Walcott's Omeros."—Colbert Nepaulsingh, University of Albany


Don Barnard's reader's guide plumbs the richness, subtlety, and power of Derek Walcott’s Omeros.

Barnard adeptly lays out the major themes of the work, explains Walcott's geographical, historical, and autobiographical references, and explores his use of symbolism. He also highlights the qualities that make Omeros a master class in the use of form, rhythm, and rhyme and proposes new solutions to issues raised by earlier critical works. Walcott's own comments on both the poem and the writer’s task enhance this invaluable contribution.


Don Barnard is author of four books of poetry, most recently Catchment. He was poet laureate of Birmingham, England, in 2004-2005.


  • Introducing Walcott's Omeros and This Guide.
  • Narrative Structure.
  • Settings.
  • Metaphor.
  • Symbols.
  • Intertexts.
  • The Author's Presence.
  • Walcott's Languages.
  • Prosody.
  • The Annotations (by Chapter).
  • Conclusion.
  • Appendix: Rhyme Types Used in Omeros.