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Poem of the Day - Odysseus to Telemachus, by Joseph Brodsky Options · View
gypsy
Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015 2:15:33 AM

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Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,649
Nobelprize.org wrote:
Joseph Brodsky Born: 24 May 1940, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), USSR (now Russia)

Died: 28 January 1996, New York, NY, USA

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987.

Prize motivation: "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity"


Odysseus to Telemachus

by Joseph Brodsky

My dear Telemachus,
The Trojan War
is over now; I don't recall who won it.
The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave
so many dead so far from their own homeland.
But still, my homeward way has proved too long.
While we were wasting time there, old Poseidon,
it almost seems, stretched and extended space.

I don't know where I am or what this place
can be. It would appear some filthy island,
with bushes, buildings, and great grunting pigs.
A garden choked with weeds; some queen or other.
Grass and huge stones . . . Telemachus, my son!
To a wanderer the faces of all islands
resemble one another. And the mind
trips, numbering waves; eyes, sore from sea horizons,
run; and the flesh of water stuffs the ears.
I can't remember how the war came out;
even how old you are--I can't remember.

Grow up, then, my Telemachus, grow strong.
Only the gods know if we'll see each other
again. You've long since ceased to be that babe
before whom I reined in the plowing bullocks.
Had it not been for Palamedes' trick
we two would still be living in one household.
But maybe he was right; away from me
you are quite safe from all Oedipal passions,
and your dreams, my Telemachus, are blameless.






The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



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