May 03, 2009

cadence additional

Follow-up to Cadence Country Reggae from WikiOmeros

Cadence (or cadence-lypso) is a French Antillean dance music highly popular in St Lucia in the 1970s. Unlike the English language calypso, it is a French Creole-based form originating in Dominica and Guadeloupe and a development of Haitian Creole compas (or konpas direk). It was one of the forms that later were blended into the zouk (‘party’) form popular in the 1980s. The early lyrics of cadence often dealt with social issues and as such it was more of a political form than zouk, which developed largely as entertainment music. In St Lucia the political aspect was less strong, possibly because of difficulty in understanding other Creole dialects, and the music was more of an excuse for Jump Up (street party). The cadence style is claimed to be developed in Guadeloupe by the group Exile One led by Dominican musician Julie Mourillon and for a while became the main dance music of Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Lucia and other French Creole islands.

June 09, 2008


campêche [bois-campêche] (1.I.ii; 1.III.i).

Haematoxylon campechianum is found in Central and South America. It produces a heavy, very hard wood and has a variety of medical uses. The tree has a variety of common names, including campeche [campêche] and bois-campeche [bois-campêche], and also 'logwood (Bib:36), hence Walcott’s translation of the Creole 'choeur campêche' (1.III.i) as 'Logwood Heart'.


adze (1.I.ii).

A heavy hand tool with a steel cutting blade attached at right-angles to a wooden handle, used for dressing timber (Bib:CED).


frotted (1.I.ii).

From frottage, meaning the act or process of taking a rubbing from a rough surface, such as wood, for a work of art (Bib:CED).


garrulous (1.I.i).

Given to constant and frivolous chatter; loquacious; talkative (Bib:CED).


corolla (1.I.i).

The petals of a flower collectively, forming an inner floral envelope (Bib:CED).


sea-almond (1.I.i &c.).

Terminalia catappa, characterised by its pagoda shape. The sea-almond grows on sandy shores, and the leaves and bark can be used as dressing for wounds (Bib:35), which is perhaps why Philoctete displays his wound here.

June 08, 2008

two parties

two parties, one Greek and the other Trojan,/both fighting for Helen (2.XX.ii).

One of the frequent allusions to the Trojan War, with 'Helen' here both evoking Helen of Troy and referring to St Lucia.

His cripple

His cripple (2.XX.ii).

Possibly a reference to Caliban, Prospero's slave in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Minkler (1993) discusses other allusions to the play in Omeros (see Critical Bibliography).

'Moi shall return.'

MacArthur's vow as he left: 'Moi shall return' (2.XX.ii).

General Douglas MacArthur was one of the most decorated soldiers in US history (Bib:33). In 1944, he took back the Philippines, fulfilling his earlier vow to return, 'I shall return', changed by The Office of War Information to 'We shall return' (Bib:34).

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