Homers Odyssey | Chapter 43 of 54

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

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OLYMPUS

 
 

ATHENA

Zeus? Father?

 

ZEUS

I’m resting.

 

ATHENA

It won’t exhaust you to turn your head.

Look down through the clouds. What do you see?

 

ZEUS

Nothing. It’s misty.

 

ATHENA

Wait a moment.

(She blows the clouds apart.)

Now what do you see? There, where I’m pointing.

 

ZEUS

An island.

 

ATHENA

Not just any island. Ithaca.

 

ZEUS

Has Athena taken to giving mighty Zeus lessons in geography?

 

ATHENA

Look at that beach on the west coast.

That cove, between the two headlands.

Notice anything on the strand-line?

 

ZEUS

Driftwood?

 

ATHENA

Of a kind.

 

ZEUS

No, it’s something alive. A large squid, is it? A dolphin?

 

ATHENA

It’s a man.

 

ZEUS

Ah, and not just any man, I presume?

 

ATHENA

Look at the hands, the hair, the limbs beneath the clothes.

Odysseus, home after twenty years.

 

ZEUS

And now he sleeps like a foetus,

curled in a ball with his face buried in his chest.

Let’s see if a few drops of rain might bring him round.

 

ATHENA

No, don’t wake him.

 

ZEUS

Very well. The beautiful irony isn’t lost on me.

The suffering hero arrives home in slumbering innocence.

 

ATHENA

But is he home for good, or does Poseidon

still chase him for his pound of flesh?

 

ZEUS

Who can say, in the great scheme of things?

Who can predict what might happen next?

Besides, your man, Odysseus –

he might be sleeping like a baby in the womb

but he rears up like a cobra when he’s roused.

He blinded the Cyclops with a burning lance –

Poseidon’s son! My nephew. Poseidon has a case.

 

ATHENA

He’s your brother. Call him off.

 

ZEUS

I can’t do that.

 

ATHENE

Then I’ll go to Odysseus. I’ll intervene.

 

ZEUS

Athena, not so fast.

 

ATHENA

He’s served his time. I won’t have him

clawed back into the sea by some freak wave.

 

ZEUS

You’re being hasty – you’re acting irrationally – like one of them.

 

ATHENA

I’ll guide him safely inland.

 

ZEUS

Well, if you must you must. At least go in disguise.

 

ATHENA

I’ll appear as a shepherd boy. Goodbye, father.

 

ZEUS

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

She’s right. Poor wretch of a man –

twenty years an exile – enough is enough.

Odysseus will be spared.

But Poseidon bears his grudge like a birthright –

he’ll have to be bought off.

 

So those Phaeacian oarsmen, who carried him

over the waves, whose craft still skims the surface

of Poseidon’s watery fields … who can say? Who can say?

 

Comments

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

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