Wednesday 15 July 2015

Odysseus hears how the people (and Penelope) are on the streets

…and messengers came from Ithaca with news from Penelope, Odysseus's long-suffering wife.
'O Odysseus,' said the messengers.
'It's alright, I know what you're going to say. Penelope has heard that I lingered too long on the Isle of Ogygia in the arms of Calypso.'
'No, my lord,' said the first messenger, 'that's the least of your worries.'
'Really? What else can be bothering her?'
'She and all of Ithaca is starving, my lord,' said the messenger, 'and they all looked to you to relieve them of their hunger pangs.'
'To me?!' said Odysseus incredulously, 'but I saved them from the horde of men in long grey pants. If it wasn't for me, they would be at our door.'
'Yes, my lord, but the point is, they've come through the door. They're now supping at your table…and mine…and all of our tables.'
'My Penelope!' screamed Odysseus in a jealous rage, 'O my Ithaca!'
'Well, actually,' said the messenger who was a Cynic.Or a Sceptic. Or an Epicurean. Or all three…'Penelope isn't at home. She's on the streets.'
'On the streets?' shrieked Odysseus.
'Not like that, you fool,' said the messenger, 'she and all of Ithaca are on the streets. You would do well to harken unto them.'
'What does that mean?' said Odysseus who was unacquainted with ancient Greek.
'Listen. Note. Take heed. Learn from the people…, that sort of thing.'
'Hmmmmmmmmmm, 'said Odysseus, remembering the last time he was afflicted by self-will and how that had brought the wrath of Poseidon upon himself and his men….'hmmmmmmmmmm, ' he repeated.