Synopsis of B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul

About The Author V.S. Naipaul

V.S. Naipaul, a Trinidadian of Indian origin is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as Nobel Prize for Literature, Booker Prize, and Jerusalem Prize for the freedom of Individual in Society. Apart from novels, and a collection of short stories, he has written non-fiction that include An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization, and many travelogues. He was knighted in 1990. His stories are about the forgotten people in the developing world and most of them are semi-autobiographical and tells of shattered hopes and dreams of people around him.

Summary of B. Wordsworth

'B. Wordsworth' is a sensitive story about a man who aspires to be a poet. The location is Miguel Street, Trinidad, in the Caribbean Islands. A young boy, in first-person narration, tells the story. One day a stranger comes to his house to watch bees in his compound. The man's educated English baffles him and his mother. The mother tells the boy to keep a watch on him, and together they watch the bees for an hour. The man says he can watch ants and all other insects for hours. He also tells the boy that he is a poet, the greatest in the world. His name is B. Wordsworth, B for Black; and he has a brother W. Wordsworth; W for White. He tries to sell a poem to the boy but the boy's mother tells him to haul his tail off. He says no one buys his poetry but he keeps wandering to meet other poets and observes things to write more poetry. He also encourages the boy saying that he has the makings of a poet. About a week later, he is invited to the poet's house and is served with mangoes. The mother beats the boy for staying away from home and he runs away from the house. He goes to the poet crying his heart out. Thus begins a friendship, which proves to be educative for the child. He learns to observe things of nature. He learns about stars and the constellations. He also acquires poetic sensibilities.

One day, the boy asks why the poet keeps the bushes in his garden and he tells him a touching story of a young man and his wife, who loved poetry, grass and flowers. But she dies and after that, the young man decides to touch nothing in the garden. He also tells him that he is writing a poem, which will be published twenty-two years later. It will be the greatest poem ever written. Very soon the man becomes ill. The boy cries realizing that his friend is about to die. Before death, the man tells him that the story, as well as the claim of writing poetry, is a lie. He asked the boy to never return to his place.

A year later the boy walked along the street where the poet lived; there was no sign of his house. A two-storey building had replaced it and there were bricks and concrete everywhere as if the poet never existed.

rogue - a person of doubtful character;
squatting - sitting on heels with knees bent up close to the body;
blasted - used to express annoyance;
to haul his tail out - to go away;
calypsonians - singers of West Indian type of songs:
lot - a distinct portion or a piece of land:
whip - a piece of rope:
patronize - buy from;
liners - ships;
calypsoes - a West Indian type of singing, 
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