A choreographic dialogue with Caribbean poetry. The sacredness of the feminine in Walcott’s Omeros (1990)


Abstract – The aim of this paper is to show how the poetry and art of Caribbean writer Derek Walcott (1930-2017) tends to manifest and substantiate the desirable cultural transformation promoted by the work of the American anthropologist and scholar Riane Eisler. The recognition and the exaltation of symbols connected to the feminine world stand at the core of Walcott’s masterpiece Omeros. In a creative mutual dialogue between different genres and identities, the Caribbean author materialises Eisler’s attempts to forge a type of society based on a new partnership ethic. In a second perspective, this paper analyses how Walcott’s work opens the path to possible creative interdisciplinary approaches in the world of the arts. In my own contribution, as a professional dancer and choreographer, I have tried to “give voice” through movements to some episodes relating to the feminine included in Omeros.

Abstract - Scopo di questo articolo è quello di dimostrare come la poesia e l’arte dello scrittore caraibico Derek Walcott tendano ad abbracciare ed attualizzare quella particolare trasformazione culturale tanto auspicata dal lavoro e dalle ricerche dell’antropologa e studiosa americana Riane Eisler. Il riconoscimento e l’esaltazione del femminino nell’Omeros, opera cardine della poesia walcottina, riverbera quel tentativo di ricerca di un dialogo mutuale tra sessi che, nelle teorie di Esiler, potrebbe all’esplicitazione di una nuova e pacifica etica della partnership. In una seconda dimensione questo elaborato enfatizza il particolare rinnovamento che l’opera walcottiana apporta alla “tradizione letteraria”, al canone occidentale, in quanto Walcott è in grado d’includere all’interno della sua eclettica poetica contaminazioni pluridisciplinari attinenti ai più disparati ambiti umanistico-sociali.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v21p145

Keywords: sacredness of the feminine; Archetypical Mother; connection between arts; Dancing in the Caribbean; Derek Walcott


Barnard D. 2014, Walcott’s Omeros: A Reader’s Guide, First Forum Press, London.

Breslin P. 2001, Nobody’s Nation: Reading Derek Walcott, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

DeLoughrey E., Gosson R. and Handley G. (eds.) 2005, Caribbean Literature and the Environment: Between Nature and Culture, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville.

Eisler R. 1987, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, HarperCollins, San Francisco.

Estés Pinkola C. 1992, Women Who Run with the Wolves, Ballantine, New York.

Hamner R. 1997, Epic of the Dispossessed: Derek Walcott’s Omeros, University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Mambrol N. 2016, Homi Bhabha’s Concept of Hybridity, in “Literary Theory and Criticism Notes”, April 8th. https://literariness.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/homi-bhabhas-concept-of-hybridity/ (7.29.2017).

Riem A. 2007, Journeys in the Goddess Cosmic Dance, in Riem A., Conti Camaiora L. and Dolce M.R. (eds.), The Goddess Awakened. Partnership Studies in Literatures, Language and Education, Forum, Udine, pp. 15-22.

Thieme J. 1999, Derek Walcott: Contemporary World Writers, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Walcott D. 1969, In a Green Night, Jonathan Cape, London.

Walcott D. 1973, The Caribbean: Culture or Mimicry? in “Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs” 16 [1] (1974), pp. 3-13.

Walcott D. 1979, The Star-Apple Kingdom, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York.

Walcott D. 1990, Omeros, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York.

Walcott D. 1998, What the Twilight Says: Essays. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York.

Full Text: pdf


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.