Poem of the Day
AFTER THREE-AND-A-HALF YEARS WITH CALYPSO, ODYSSEUS SAYS, TO HELL WITH IT, I'M NOT GOING HOME
It's the story no one talks about––
how he came to love the nymph--
her tangled braids and open thighs,
the aroma of partridge, roasting
over sweetwood. Ten years
against Troy and the endless journey home.
His men consumed by monsters and the sea.
Then Calypso's island--the grapes
ambered by a noble rot,
and goats bleating on the hillside.
Day after day, the sea rises
and falls. Calypso trills her little song
and Ithaca seems more distant.
Until Homer must go to him,
meet Odysseus on the beach
and explain the narrative--
that he, as author, is a god
who must be obeyed.
It's why the plot stalls out
at the start of Book 5.
Calypso's change of heart
is Homer strumming and chanting
for time, until Odysseus
picks up his ax and walks toward the trees,
cursing the poet's blindness.
Shown is “Ulysses and Calypso” (1882), by Arnold Böcklin.