my odyssey with the iliad.

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with the absence of my carpool mate

due to the arrival of her newest bambino

i attempted to fill my commute time

with my personal repertoire

of all things musical

every known

genre and format

then

sports rants

  in-car karaoke singing

 thoughtful npr shows

science

politics

mindless morning shows

when

i remembered

audio books

 the iliad

seemed

the perfect candidate

 a story

i read under duress

long ago

yet remembered

nothing of

i decided

to give it

a second chance

it was an incredible odyssey for me

filled

with drama

and matched wits

and dialogue

long forgotten

 “you are a bitch, unparalleled.”

“i will offer you 3 fine horses and a chariot or a woman who will sleep with you.”

“my wife, the goddess, defies me out of habit.”

not unlike reality tv shows

but much better written

with humor

and grace

and honor

and ego

and pride

and emotion

and death

and rituals

and flashy armor

and sumptuous meals

and lusty sex

and days off from fighting

for celebrations

and memorials

and just for rest

and always

the behind the scenes manipulations

with gods

and mortals

mixing it up

 all trying

to find their way

 figure out life

win their battles

much like the rest of us

and

 i grew to love the story

all fourteen discs of it

through

rain

dark

sunrises

traffic jams

accidents

highway miles

sunsets

high winds

 i looked forward to it

every day

as i began to understand

who all the

‘son of, maker of, and those whose names all ended with the letter s’

 characters were

 how they were connected

 when it all ended

i was left wanting more

and

if only

homer had

written another

epic poem

he could have called it

“the odyssey”

oh, he did.

and

i can’t wait.

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the journey has been incredible from its beginning.
– sidney poitier

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53 responses »

  1. These types of epics were meant to be heard rather than read, I think. When someone came out with a new edition of the Odyssey several years ago, I heard him read some of it on NPR–very exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am very impressed since I probably would wish to have the Cliff Notes edition of the Iliad and also, the Odyssey. I was a great ‘skimmer’ of books and could pass essay tests on almost all the classics, Beth. But did I enjoy them? no. sorry.
    I am crazy about books like “Out of Africa,” “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” along with all of John Steinbeck. I know! I am a nut for ‘classics light!’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s thought that Homer wrote a dozen or twenty books – of which only two survive. Yes, it’s the most impressive thing I’ve read. There are so many fine translations too, so the re- reads are interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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