“The Spoiler’s Return” by Walcott talks about the corruption in Trinidadian society. Examine the poem and critically analyse it.
Spoiler’s return to Laventille and people’s surprise at seeing him is the subject of the opening section of this poem. That this place was where Spoiler was famous as a calypsonian is obvious by his own statement that he had left his “conscience” and “rum-eaten wit” here. Indications of the poverty and squalor he lived in are provided by this phrase, which indicates he was a hard drinking man, and the next line in which he is described as a bag of bones. People express their curiosity at his return but some are put off by his ghostly appearance.
Spoiler talks about his sojourn in hell where Satan, called “Hot Boy” by him, is a fan of his and listens to his songs on his stereo. Satan’s partiality towards Spoiler makes him send the latter back to earth. not as a “bedbug” or a “flea” but as man dressed in a suit and a hat. He hints at the social function performed by the calypsonians, that of singing the “truth.” Playing on the word “compose,” he sends out a message that even though his physical appearance is subject to decay (“I decompose”) his artistic abilities are still intact (“I composing still”). To give evidence of the latter he sings a snatch from one of his compositions about the attractions of women.