Ex Libris Kirkland

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Translator Emily Wilson
First Written -800
Genre Poetry
Origin Greece
My Copy library copy
First Read May 24, 2018

The Odyssey

This new translation got a lot press this year, and appropriately. It's great - really makes the text feel fresh and exciting, without fake-modernizing it. Really delightful. Wilson's notes are also fascinating, and she's been doing a great set of threads on twitter too outlining some of her translation choices.

Noted on May 30, 2018

Odysseus scanned his property for survivors
who might be hiding to escape destruction.
He saw them fallen, all of them, so many,
lying in blood and dust, like fish hauled up
out of the dark-gray sea in fine-mesh nets.
All tipped out on the curving beach's sand
They gasp for water from the salty sea.
The sun shines down and takes their life away.
So lay the suitors, piled up on each other.

Quoted on May 30, 2018

Tell me about a complicated man.
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered in the storms at sea, and how
he worked to save his life and bring his men
back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,
they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god
kept them from home.

Quoted on May 30, 2018

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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