I read 20 pages of The Prodigal at the bookstore while Julia was looking at books. Walcott has a great ear, but there is a big problem with bathos. What he is saying in such hifalutin language seems utterly trivial in relation to the language. He's admiring some bar-maid in the Swiss Alps in one of the early sections. It's travelogue poetry, "Fulbright poetry" where the poet goes to Europe and admires the sights. He is constantly aiming for the profound statement, and is a very good stylist, but is constantly coming up with relatively banal observations. I don't know whether I have an open mind--because I still insist on reading Walcott--or a closed mind, because I still find him disappointing.