Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Wandering Odysseus

Having time to work on this blog means that sometimes I find myself in places where no one thought there were places. Here is a literary connection that no one can possibly have conceived of:

Poul Anderson, Neil Gaiman and SM Stirling all quote James Elroy Flecker;

Stirling incorporates Odysseus/Ulyyses into an alternative history trilogy;

Flecker incorporates him into a poem -

 who knows - who knows - but in that same
(Fished up beyond Aeaea, patched up new
- Stern painted brighter blue -)
That talkative, bald-headed seaman came
(Twelve patient comrades sweating at the oar)
From Troy's doom-crimson shore,
And with great lies about his wooden horse
Set the crew laughing, and forgot his course.
It was so old a ship - who knows, who knows?
- And yet so beautiful...
-copied from here.

Was Odysseus bald? A graphic novel shows him as long-haired. See image.

And is there an alternative reality with a still wandering Odysseus?

Flecker's poem begins:

I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep
Beyond the village which men still call Tyre,
-copied from (see above link).

Poul Anderson's Manse Everard of the Time Patrol has an important mission in Tyre.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I've read E.V. Rieu's prose translation of the ILIAD and ODYSSEY and I don't recall Odysseus ever described as bald. Poetic license, I assume, on Fletcher's part.