domingo, junho 03, 2007

Derek Walcott's OMEROS

Book 1: Chapter 1 - Section 1

"This is how, one sunrise, we cut down them canoes."
Philoctete smiles for the tourists, who try taking
his soul with their cameras. "Once wind bring the news

to the laurier-cannelles, their leaves start shaking
the minute the axe of sunlight hit the cedars,
because they could see the axes in our own eyes.

Wind lift the ferns. They sound like the sea that feed us
fisherman all our life, and the ferns nodded 'Yes,
the trees have to die.' So, fists jam into our jacket,

cause the heights was cold and our breath making feathers
like the mist, we pass the rum. When it came back, it
give is the spirit to turn into murderers.

I lift up the axe and pray for strength in my hands
to wound the first cedar. Dew was filling my eyes,
but I fire one more white rum. The we advance."

For some extra sliver, under a sea-almond,
he shows them a scar made by a rusted anchor,
rolling one trouser-leg up with the rising moan

of a conch. It has puckered like the corolla
of a sea-urchin. He does not explain its cure.
"It have some things"--he smiles--"worth more than a dollar."

He has left it to a garrulous waterfall
to pour out his secret down La Sorciere, since
the tall laurels fell, for the ground-dove's mating call

to pass on its note to the blue, tacit mountains
whose talkative brooks, carrying it to the sea,
turn into idle pools where the clear minnows shoot

and an egret stalks the reeds with one rusted cry
as it stabs and stabs the mud with one lifting foot.
Then silence is sawn in half by a dragonfly

as eels sign their names along the clear bottom-sand,
when the sunrise brightens the river's memory
and waves of huge ferns are nodding to the sea's sound.

Although smoke forgets the earth from which it ascends
and nettles guard the holes where the laurels were killed,
an iguana hears the axes, clouding each lense

over its lost name, when the hunched island was called
"Iounalao," "Where the iguana is found."
But, taking its own time, the iguana will scale

the rigging of vines in a year, its dewlap fanned,
its elbows akimbo, its deliberate tail
moving with the island. The split pods of its eyes

ripened in a pause that lasted for centuries,
that rose with the Aruacas' smoke till a new race
unknown to the lizard stood measuring the trees.

These were their pillars that fell, leaving a blue space
for a single God where the old gods stood before.
the first god was a gommier. The generator

began with a whine, and a shark, with a sidewise jaw,
sent the chips flying like mackerel over water
into trembling weeds. Now they cut off the saw,

still hot and shaking, to examine the wound it
had made. They scraped off its gangrenous moss, then ripped
the wound clear of the net of vines that still bound it

to this earth, and nodded. The generator whipped
back to its work, and the chips flew much faster as
the shark's teeth gnawed evenly. They covered their eyes

from the splintering nest. Now, over the pastures
of bananas, the island lifted its horns. Sunrise
trickled down its valleys, blood splashed on the cedars,

and the grove flooded with the light of sacrifice.
A gommier was cracking. Its leaves an enormous
traupaulin with the ridgepole gone. The craking sound

made the fishermen leap back as the angling mast
leant slowly towards the troughs of ferns; the the ground
shuddered under the feet in waves, the the waves passed.


Blogger becrowe said...

Hi Esty. ;) I really like this writing - who's the guy? Tell me about him.
There's a poem on my blog i think you might like :)
Hope you're well.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Esteban said...

Derek Walcott is a writer and artist born in St Lucia. Omeros is based on Homer's work and takes place in the Caribbean and such. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992. He is amazing.

Hope your well, as well.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Trey said...

10:59 AM  
Blogger Trey said...

Judging by the beer and beard, I'm gonna take a guess and say this is you?

6:43 AM  
Blogger Esteban said...

that was after i decided to quit my steady job and make a documentary about myself called "Baby Blue" (for no apparent reason other than it gave me the chance to repeatedly play George Strait's "Baby Blue" in the background).

i have to admit: i have never been more disgusted with myself.

...but, the footage was so good.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Esteban said...

i had a dream last night that Derek Walcott came to me while I was talking to some people that respected me and he began to rail on me for all of the mistakes I made when copying this excerpt onto my blog.

"but its so long, and the mistakes arent that bad" I said

"my characters have lost thier essence" he said

"come on" i said

"no really, how would you feel" he said

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anônimo said...

Keep working ,great job!

4:23 AM  

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