Ten years of war, and seven more on Calypso’s island passed before Odysseus was released to continue home.
Here’s wretched ease. The fish I catch, She lets me.
She humors me, my longings: flesh, to eat,
To hold, to know my own flesh by. My boy,
Unseen these years, beside this perfect sea
Years spent without a consequence defeat
The thing I was. Before I dreamed of Troy
I was an ordinary man a while—
I fought, I drank; in season plowed; wheat
Grew for me; my horses foaled. But enjoy
My son— That prize gods stole. This dulling trial
Dearest! There’s too much magic in this place.
I cast and nothing ever queers it. Fish—
I haul them in and watch the colors fade.
But then they’re back again tomorrow, no trace
Of blood I let, but freshly painted; some wish
To have them green and glossy black, obeyed.
I’m allowed a knife that disappears
(the goddess dreads my darker casts). Anguish.
I decay. This idyll isn’t made
For one like me. Her beauty never sears.
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