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136111915 Stephen Mitchell s Odyssey

136111915 Stephen Mitchell s Odyssey

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Published by AtriaBooks
The Odyssey.
The Odyssey.

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Published by: AtriaBooks on Sep 09, 2013
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09/23/2013

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The Invocation
 
(1.1-10)
 
MitchellSing to me, Muse, of the man of many resourceswho was driven astray and forced to wander the earthafter he plundered Troy. He passed through the citiesof many people and learned how they lived and thought,and he suffered many great hardships on the high seas,trying to save his own life and bring his companionssafely back to their land. But despite his effortshe could not rescue them, fools that they were
their ownrecklessness brought disaster upon them all;
they killed and devoured Hypérion‘s sacred oxen,
 so the sun god blotted them out and they never went home.Goddess, daughter of Zeus, begin whereveryou wish to, and tell the story again, for us.FaglesSing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turnsdriven time and again off course, once he had plunderedthe hallowed heights of Troy.Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds,many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,fighting to save his life and bringing his comrades home.But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove
 the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all,the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sunand the Sungod blotted out the day of their return.Launch out on his story, Muse, daughter of Zeus,start from where you will
sing for our time too.FitzgeraldSing in me, Muse, and through me tell the storyof that man skilled in all ways of contending,the wanderer, harried for years on end,after he plundered the strongholdon the proud height of Troy.He saw the townlandsand learned the minds of many distant men,and weathered many bitter nights and daysin his deep heart at sea, while he fought onlyto save his life, to bring his shipmates home.But not by will nor valor could he save them,for their own recklessness destroyed them allchildren and fools, they killed and feasted onthe cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun,and he who moves all day through heaventook from their eyes the dawn of their return.Of these adventures, Muse, daughter of Zeus,tell us in our time, lift the great song again.
 
Calypso’s
Last Night with Odysseus
(5.200-227)Mitchell
―Noble son of Laértes, subtle Odysseus,
 are you really going to leave me now and returnto your own dear country? Well, I wish you the best.Yet if you had any idea of all the hardshipsyou will have to endure before you can ever reach home,you would stay with me here and let me make you immortal,however you long for that wife of yours, whom you think ofday in and day out. But I am not any lessattractive than she is, surely, in face or figure;and indeed it would be unimaginable for a mere
woman to come even close to a goddess in beauty.‖
 And O
dysseus, the great tactician, answered her, ―Goddess,
 
don‘t be angry. I know it as well as you do—
 
that Penelope isn‘t as tall as you or as lovely.
And yes, she is only a woman, while you are immortaland will never grow old. I know that. Yet even so,I c
an‘t help longing for home. And if some god does
 wreck me during the voyage, I will endure it;my heart knows how to endure great hardships. Before nowI have suffered many, both on the sea and in war,
and if I must suffer another hardship, so be it.‖
 As they were speaking, the sun set and darkness came on.And they moved further into the cave, and they made love
with great pleasure, and then they slept in each other‘s arms.
 
Fagles
―So then,
 royal son of Laertes, Odysseus, man of exploits,still eager to leave at once and hurry backto your own home, your beloved native land?Good luck to you, even so. Farewell!But if you only knew, down deep, what painsare fated to fill your cup before you reach that shore,you'd stay right her, preside in our house with meand be immortal. Much as you long to see your wife,the one you pine for all your days. . . and yetI just might claim to be nothing less than she,neither in face nor figure. Hardly right, is it,for mortal woman to rival immortal goddess?
How, in build? in beauty?‖
 
―Ah, great goddess,
 
worldly Odysseus answered, ―don‘t be angry with me,
 please. All that you say is true, how well I know.Look at my wise Penelope. She falls far short of you,your beauty, stature. She is mortal after allan
d you, you never age or die…
 Nevertheless I long
I pine, all my days
 to travel home and see the dawn of my return.And if a god will wreck me yet again on the wine-dark sea,I can bear that too, with a spirit tempered to endure.Much have I suffered, labored long and hard by nowin the waves and wars. Add this to the total
 
bring the trial on!‖
 Even as he spokethe sun set and the darkness swept the earth. And now, withdrawing
into the cavern‘s deep recesses,
 
long in each other‘s arms they lost themselv
es in love.Fitzgerald
―Son of Laërtês, versatile Odysseus,
 after these years with me, you still desireyour old home? Even so, I wish you well.
 
If you could see it all, before you go
 all the adversity you face at sea
 you would stay here, and guard this house, and beimmortal
though you wanted her forever,
(cont‘d)
 

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