Friday, April 29, 2005

In his celebrated epic poem Omeros (1990), Walcott took Homer to the Caribbean, turning Achilles and Philoctetes into local fishermen. The Prodigal lacks that kind of narrative pull and energy, and it takes a while for the reader to get the hang of it, to see that its shape isn't the arc of a journey but comes from the drift of the poet's mind. What we're offered aren't travel diaries so much as lecture notes - on art, exile, migration, race, empire, love and "the monstrous map ... called Nowhere" where all of us are headed.

-- Blake Morrison reviewing The Prodigal in the UK Guardian a few days ago.

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