Tuesday Poem: Clare Pollard, Penelope to Ulysses

Penelope to Ulysses

Dear Ulysses,

you’re late.

Don’t worry about answering, just come home.
The enemy of Grecian wives has fallen,
but, honestly, Troy wasn’t worth it.

If only Paris had drowned
in some storm when he was heading for Sparta,
I wouldn’t lie frigid in my bed
or have to moan of tedious days
or pass my nights like some poor widow
at the loom’s dull web. . . . . [Read On] 

From Ovid's Heroines by Clare Pollard
Published by Bloodaxe Books

This is an extract from Penelope’s letter to Ulysses, one of Ovid’s Heroides, translated by Clare Pollard as Ovid’s Heroines. With this letter, Ovid puts a different perspective on Homer’s The Odyssey. The Trojan War has long been over, but the Greek war hero Ulysses has not returned to his wife Penelope in Ithaca. Whilst those who have read Homer will know this is because he has been waylaid by obstacles that include gods, monsters, weather and the sorceress Circe, Penelope has heard nothing. Their son Telemachus has just returned from a fruitless trip to Pylos, where he was trying to find out what has happened to his father and was almost killed.

You can read more about Clare’s book here, and follow her work via her website and on Twitter.

Thanks to Oxford Brookes University's Weekly Poem page for sharing this. 

The Tuesday Poets are an international group, originating in New Zealand, who try to post a poem every Tuesday and take it in turns to edit the main website.  If you'd like to see what the others are posting, please click here. 


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