By Veronica

Seasonal (2)

See seasonal (1). Yes, it is sunny now, the light glowing on the poppies, but there's still a brisk wind -- no casting clouts yet. This is the same field I blipped almost exactly a year ago.

Emily Wilson's translation of the Odyssey: so far I've read the introduction, covering the themes and history of the poem, and the translator's note. Speaking three languages more or (considerably) less fluently, translation is endlessly interesting to me. Here's how her note ends:

Homer's concerns -- with loyalty, families, migrants, consumerism, war, poverty, identity, rhetoric, and lies -- are in many ways deeply familiar, but we see them here in unfamiliar guises. The poem is concerned, above all, with the duties and dangers involved in welcoming foreigners into one's home. I hope my translation will enable contemporary readers to welcome and host this foreign poem, with all the right degrees of warmth, curiosity, openness, and suspicion.

There is a stranger outside your house. He is old, ragged, and dirty. He is tired. He has been wandering, homeless, for a long time, perhaps many years. Invite him inside. You do not know his name. He may be a thief. He may be a murderer. He may be a god. He may remind you of your husband, your father, or yourself. Do not ask questions. Wait. Let him sit on a comfortable chair and warm himself beside your fire. Bring him some food, the best you have, and a cup of wine. Let him eat and drink until he is satisfied. Be patient. When he is finished, he will tell his story. Listen carefully. It may not be as you expect.

A text for our times.

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