Sing, through me, O muse, the famous story
Of he, the wily wanderer far and wide
Who – after Ilium was lost – did travel
Through distant lands and cities; there to learn
The manners and the mysteries of men.
Though oceans overwhelmed his troubled heart
And waves of sorrow rocked him now and then
All his companions did he not abandon
He found his way, at last, back home again.
Homer – Odyssey – 1st stanza, retold by me 2017
Muse make the man thy theme, for shrewdness famed
And genius versatile, who far and wide
A Wand’rer, after Ilium overthrown,
Discover’d various cities, and the mind
And manners learn’d of men, in lands remote.
He num’rous woes on Ocean toss’d, endured,
Anxious to save himself, and to conduct
His followers to their home.
Homer – translation by William Cowper, 1791
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy.
He saw the townlands
and learned the minds of many distant men,
and weathered many bitter nights and days
in his deep heart at sea, while he fought only
to save his life, to bring his shipmates home.
Homer – translation by Robert Fitzgerald, 1961
It is never too late to begin an odyssey.
I have poetry in my soul.