(1.I.ii)A heavy hand tool with a steel cutting blade attached at right-angles to a wooden handle, used for dressing timber (Bib:CED).
campêche [bois-campêche] (1.I.ii; 1.III.i).Haematoxylon campechianum is found in Central and South America. It produces a heavy, very hard wood and has a variety of medical uses. The tree has a variety of common names, including campeche [campêche] and bois-campeche [bois-campêche], and also 'logwood (Bib:36), hence Walcott’s translation of the Creole 'choeur campêche' (1.III.i) as 'Logwood Heart'.
Any of various tropical marine gastropod molluscs, especially of the genera Strombus and Cassis, with large, often brightly coloured spiral shells and edible flesh.
(1.I.i)The petals of a flower collectively, forming an inner floral envelope (Bib:CED).
'Any of various wading birds similar to herons but usually having white plumage…' (Bib:CCD).
(1.I.ii)From frottage, meaning the act or process of taking a rubbing from a rough surface, such as wood, for a work of art (Bib:CED).
laurier-cannelle (1.I.i &c)A plant native to St Lucia. Botanical name Aniba firmula, the tree's common name on St Lucia consists of the French names of two aromatic plants, bay and cinnamon, both known and used for cooking and ritual since ancient times.
Flat bottomed boat traditionally used in the West Indies for fishing.
- sea almond
sea-almond (1.I.i &c.).Terminalia catappa, characterised by its pagoda shape. The sea-almond grows on sandy shores, and the leaves and bark can be used as dressing for wounds (Bib:35), which is perhaps why Philoctete displays his wound here.
- sea swift
swift [bird] (1.I.ii &c.), sea-swift (1.IV.ii &c.).Named as 'Cypseloides Niger, l’hirondelle des Antilles' in XVI.ii, these small, fast-flying birds are famed for their ability to travel great distances in their migration patterns, spending the summer in northern climes and flying south for the winter (Bib:31). Swifts are found all over the world and their habit of connecting widely disparate locations through migration (the common swift, for example, spends summers in Britain and winters in East Africa) makes them a useful symbol for Walcott, as the recurring swifts draw connections between Eurasia, Africa and the Americas. The shape of the swift, with its long, outstretched wings, also stands in the text for the sign of the Cross made by some Christians, such as Catholics, for example, 'the swift's sign' (1.I.ii) and in the pun 'a swift sign of the cross' (1.I.ii).