Friday, August 05, 2016

Poetry Friday: The Odyssey Again

I've been reading this book:



It's the perfect book for someone who recently read The Odyssey.  Scott Huler recreates the trip Odysseus took, and so this is part reading the Odyssey, part travel narrative, part life lessons - but humorous and not taking himself too seriously.

Huler referred to this poem, and though I had read it before, I'd forgotten about it.

Ithaka
C.P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Here's the rest.

And here's the roundup.

7 comments:

Brenda Harsham said...

A good poem to have in mind on summer adventures. :-)

Karen Edmisten said...

Well, that was the perfect companion poem. Thanks for that!

Linda B said...

"Better if it lasts for years," - a good message for our lives, Ruth. I enjoyed the connection made to The Odyssey.

Mary Lee said...

I read this line, "Hope the voyage is a long one."
as
Hope, the voyage, is a long one.

As in, the voyage of hope is a long one, rather than (I) hope your voyage is long. And yet, those two things seem to be what this poem is about. Hmm...

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I loved reading the Odyssey in college. I think it might be time for a dust-off and another go! Thanks for sharing, Ruth.

Mitchell Linda said...

The first I heard and read this poem I was a young teacher in Greece preparing for a literal trip to Ithaka. This poem is home to me...full of memories and such an important part of my journey. I love it so much. Thank you, thank you for sharing the poem....and the book. I think I need to read that one.

Robyn Hood Black said...

I was not familiar with this at all - but I quite enjoyed it. Thanks for expanding my horizons, Ruth! (Hope your new school year is a great one....)