What might some of the main themes be in the poem "Oddjob, a Bull Terrier" and how might these be reflected through the rhyme scheme and imagery in the poem? Thank you!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The primary themes of Derek Walcott’s poem are grief and randomness. As the speaker grieves for the loss of their dog, Oddjob, they contemplate the arbitrary way that life’s events occur. While one might be expecting a particular occurrence, it is often something else that happens. The poem does not have a rhyme scheme; it is written in free verse. The imagery is concrete and specific, related to earth, sea, sky, and weather.

The speaker does not say what the initial “sorrow” is that they were prepared for, but “another” apparently refers to the dog’s death. People always worry about the welfare of those we care for: “we tremble for them.” The poet likens the...

(The entire section contains 360 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team