Homers Odyssey | Chapter 26 of 54

Author: Homer | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 889581 Views | Add a Review

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IN THE PALACE OF THE PHAEACIANS

 

Stunned silence follows Odysseus’ story.

 

ALCINOUS

Odysseus, yours is a fantastical tale …

 

NAUSICAA

Such adventure and excitement, and such bravery.

Hearing it causes a drum-roll in my heart.

 

ARETE

Breathtaking all right. Flabbergasting in fact.

Blinding the Cyclops with a burning branch,

then escaping tied to a ram – do we believe this man?

 

ODYSSEUS

Courteous King Alcinous, graceful Queen Arete,

Princess Nausicaa, who salvaged me in the woods,

and you Phaeacians, who tolerate my company,

 

what I’ve told you so far is only the start, fabulous

as it might seem. The mind-altering lotus plant,

the puddle-eyed Cyclops with his taste for flesh –

there’s enough weirdness and terror right there

to fill a man’s days, you might think, and you’d be right.

But they’re nothing compared to what lay ahead.

 

Let me explain how outrageous twists of fortune and fate

led me to your island in this ruined state.

 

ALCINOUS

You have our permission and our attention.

 

NAUSICAA

We’re entranced, enraptured, aren’t we, father?

So, you blinded the Cyclops with a red-hot pile-driver,

left him shaking his fist at the top of the cliff …

 

ODYSSEUS

Seething, cursing, tearing up rocks and lumps of earth

to hurl at the ship, calling his father, Poseidon, to rise

from the deep and clatter us, feed us to the fish.

 

But we rode out the storm, and landed by chance

on the Island of Aeolia, home of good Aeolus,

whose palace shines like a mirage above the sea,

whose halls and rooms are thick – night and day –

with the smell of freshly roasted beasts and fish and game.

 

He hosted us royally. Not one of our needs went unattended,

and before we sailed he gave me a cloth bag, tightly strung,

with the south wind, the north, and the wind from the east

bundled inside, so not one breath could blow us off course,

but the west wind he kept free to puff us gently along.

 

Yet his kindly thoughts were wasted on us.

Nine days on, we gave in to our weaknesses and faults.  

 

Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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