In chapter 45, section 3 of Omeros, the poem’s speaker explores the ways that Hector experiences his life driving a taxi, which he has taken up after he gave up the sea. Because Hector was also an ancient Greek warrior and a character in the Iliad, author Derek Walcott employs numerous comparisons—both metaphors and similes—that relate to his exploits and to ancient times. The modern Hector tended to drive fast, and the driver who brings the speaker to the crash site calls him a “road-warrior.”
Using parallelism, Walcott begins a number of sentences with “cut to….” Many of those sentences evoke a different kind of fast animal or vehicle, which are implicitly compared to Hector’s speeding car.
These images include “a leopard galloping on a dry plain across Serengeti.” The Serengeti Plain is located in the East African country of Tanzania. The leopard also refers to the pattern of Hector’s taxi’s upholstery, mentioned earlier in the poem.
The next sentence presents the image of “a riderless stallion” with a “wild mane scaring the Scamander.” While the latter is the name of a mythological Greek king, here it probably refers to the river that is mentioned in the Iliad, as the horse is also said to be drumming up “spraying fans.”
A third image implicitly compares Hector’s car to a chariot, the spiked hubcap of which would rip into adjacent vehicles in a race.