Sec­ond Odyssey

The Iowa Review - - NEWS - C.p. cavafy

Trans­lated from the Greek by Ge­orge Economou A sec­ond and great Odyssey as well, maybe even big­ger than the first, but alas, with no Homer, no hex­am­e­ters.

Small was his an­ces­tral home, small was his na­tive home­town, his en­tire Ithaca was small.

Telema­chos’s af­fec­tion, Pene­lope’s fi­delity, his fa­ther’s longevity, his band of old friends, his peo­ple’s loyal de­vo­tion, the bliss­ful re­pose of home poured like rays of joy into the sea­farer’s heart.

And just like rays, dis­solved.

A thirst awoke in­side him for the sea. He hated the air over dry land. Phan­toms out of the West trou­bled his sleep ev­ery night. Nos­tal­gia pos­sessed him for voy­ages and early morn­ing ar­rivals into har­bors that one joy­fully en­ters for the first time.

That Telema­chos’s af­fec­tion, that Pene­lope’s fi­delity, his fa­ther’s longevity, that band of old friends, his peo­ple’s loyal de­vo­tion, the peace and re­pose of home— Bor­ing! —And he was gone.

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