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ENRICH-0727 – Lit Zoom: Derek Walcott’s Omeros  (ENRICH-0727_OMER)

Transcending the Classics: Derek Walcott’s Omeros

Derek Walcott’s epic-length Nobel Prize-winning poem Omeros—celebrated as one of the most poetically dazzling and spiritually soaring works of 20th-century literature—takes us on a transformative journey deeply rooted in Walcott’s love of his native Caribbean island home, St. Lucia, as well as in his love of Homer (hence the title Omeros) and Homer’s millennia of literary successors. And as the poem simultaneously inhabits the Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean, the Old World as well as the New, it also transports us to other distant horizons of time and place, especially as it leads us through agonizing trails of tears, what it calls “the incurable / wound[s] of time,” from the Atlantic slave trade to Wounded Knee and beyond, in our seemingly impossible hopes that our wounds—historical and personal—may heal. Join Dr. Richard Sacks, who spent four decades at Columbia University teaching its core great books course, in a close reading of the luminous poetic language and complex narrative structures of this astonishing poem, as it asks us to explore whether there is something in the human spirit and in the language of poetry that can discover and embrace a “cure / that precedes every wound” and thus can make it possible to “heal [t]he incurable.”

Please note that the course assumes some familiarity with the Iliad and Odyssey and also with the close reading of poetry.

Six Zoom sessions
Mon., Mar. 20, 27, Apr. 3, 10, 17, 24, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm MT

Richard Sacks taught literature, mythology and linguistics at Columbia University for 40 years. He also regularly participated in Columbia's well-known Core Curriculum, teaching its great books course and giving lectures to faculty on the challenges of teaching texts ranging from the Iliad and Odyssey to biblical narratives such as Genesis and 20th-century works such as Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: OnlinePlaces Left: 10Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $210


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Monday20th March 202324th April 202306:30PM - 08:30PMN/ARichard Sacks