Saturday, September 03, 2011

Selected Words and Full Sentences from the Fitzgerald Translation of The Odyssey




He saw the townlands
and learned the minds of many distant men,
and weathered many bitter nights and days
in his deep heart at sea... 6-9_ 1

He's gone, no sign, no word of him: and I inherit
trouble and tears- and not for him alone... 286-287_9

Homeward bound 306_9

fortune 314_9


When primal Dawn spread on the eastern sky
he fingers of pink light, Odysseus's true son
stood up, drew on his tunic and his mantle,
slung on a sword- belt and a new edged sword,
tied his smooth feet into good rawhide sandals,
and left his room, a god's brilliance upon him" 1-6_ 19

my home and all I have are being ruined 52_20 more on this page (move houses gun play)

fortune 109_22

she makes a name for herself 134_22
you can feel the lost it means for you 135 _22

a deathly omen 161_23
reading birdflight into accurate speech 168_23

I am old enough to know a sign when I see one 179_24

I see all this fulfilled 186_24

what sickens me is to see the whole community
sitting still, and never a voice or hand raised
against them 251-253 _26

I doubt another's luck would hold so far 291_27

Why should you suffer
hardship and homelessness on the wild sea? 292_30


The sun rose on the flawless brimming sea
into a sky all brazen- all one brightening
for gods immortal and for mortal men
on plowlands kind with grain 1-4_35

He will tell you history 25_35

Who are you strangers? Where are you sailing from,
and where to, down the highways of sea water?
have you some business here? or are you, now,
reckless wanderers of the sea, like those corsairs
who risk their lives to prey on other men? 77-81_ 37

It is a dazzling hope. but not for me 243_41

home coming 259_42

Now Zeus forbid, and the other gods as well,
that you should spend the night on board, and leave me
as thought I were some pauper without a stitch,
no blankets in his house, no piles of rugs
no sleeping soft for host or guest! Far from it!
I have all these, blankets and deep piled rugs,
And while I live the only son of Odysseus
Will never make his bed on a ship’s deck-
No, not while sons of mine are left at home
To welcome any guest who comes to us 377-385_ 45 (Bed with pillows) (Inside/outside)

(lines 470 to 490) 48… loiter with Butcher Boy


they kept on to their journey’s end. Behind them
the sun went down and all the roads grew dark 540-541_49


Fortune 97_56

But while I made my fortune on those travels
A stranger killed my brother, in cold blood 97-98_56

as a new-born child 123_56

Never, anywhere, have I seen so great a likeness
in man or woman 152-153_57

A twinging ache of grief rose up in everyone
and Helen of Argos wept, the daughter of Zeus,
Telemakhos and Menelaos wept,
and tears came to the eyes of Nestor's son-
remembering, for his part, Antilokhos,
whom the son of shining Dawn had killed in battle 196-201_58

But now it entered Helen's mind
to drop into the wine that they were drinking
an anodyne, mild magic of forgetfulness.
Whoever drank this mixture in the wine bowl
would be incapable of tears that day-
though he should lose mother and father both,
or see, with his own eyes, a son or brother
mauled by weapons of bronze at his own gate.
The opiate of Zeus's daughter bore
this canny power. 232-245_59

She drugged the wine, then had it served, and said 250_60

Good luck and bad luck, being all powerful 255_60

Not if his heart was iron in his beast 316_61

Sweet sleep will be a pleasure, drifting over us 318_61

Recall those things for me the way they were 355_62

In Lesbos 367_63

The Ancient of the Salt Sea haunts this place 412_64

And should you wish it, noble friend, he’d tell you
All that occurred at home, both good and evil,
While you were gone so long and hard a journey 419-421_64

He’ll make you fight—for he can take the forms
Of all the beasts, and water, and blinding fire 445_446_65

( whole section lines 590 to 608) _69

world’s end 600_69

and empty words are evil 891_77


Jealousy 125_84

All of page 93

The gift of self possession 456_93

Bed of embers 515_95

Never have I laid eyes on equal beauty
In man or woman. I am hushed indeed. 172-173_103

How welcome the word “bed” came to his ears 366_121

Sir, my best
Wishes, my respects; if I offended,
I hope the seawinds blow it out of your mind
God send you see your lady and your homeland
Soon again, after the great pain of exile 435-439_137

I hope the seawinds blow it out of your mind 437_137

Fortune 441_137

Lightening knot 477_138

Wonder 491_139

Fare well, stranger; in your land remember me
Who met and saved you. It is worth your thought 492-493_139

(Lines 150 to 155) 139


Where shall a man find sweetness to surpass
His own home and parents? In far lands
He shall not, though he find a house of gold 38-40_ 146

I stormed that place and killed the men who fought. 46_146

Driving veils
Of squall moved down like night on land and sea 75-76_147

Lotos Eaters 92_147

The longed to stay forever, browsing on
That native bloom, forgetful of their homeland 93-94_148

‘all hands aboard ;
come, clear the beach and no one taste
the Lotos, or you lose your hope of home 106-110_ 148

(all of 148 and 149)

but after sundown, in the gathering dusk,
we slept again above the wash of ripples 179-180_150

‘Strangers’ he said, ‘who are you? And where from?
What brings you here by sea ways- a fair traffic?
Or are you wandering rogues, who cast your lives
Like dice, and ravage other folk by sea?’ 274-277_ 152

My heart beat high now at the chance of action 324_ 154

Now came the time to toss for it: who ventured
Along with? Whose hand could bear to thrust
And grind that spike in Cyclops eye, when mild
sleep had mastered him? 359-362 154_155

luck 362_155

and these things are foretold for time to come 558 _160

and return
under strange sail to bitter days at home 584-585_161

destruction for ships he had in store
and death for those who sailed in them, my companions 607-608_ 161

so we moved out, sad in the vast offing,
having our precious lives, but not our friends 617-618_162


No luck:
The fair wind failed us when our prudence failed 30-31_166

Temptations had its way with my companions,
And they untied the bag 51-52_ 166

Then every wind
Roared into hurricane; the ships went pitching
West with many cries; our land was lost 53-54_166

The low night path of the sun is near
The sun’s path by day. 97-99_168

Pull till your hearts break
If you would put this butchery behind 142-143 _169

So we fared onward and death fell behind,
And we took breath to grieve our companions 148-149_169

‘come, take me back the way you came’ 289_173

mutual trust may come of play and love 378_175

but when the passing months and wheeling seasons
brought the long summery days, the pause of summer. 518-519_179

captain, shake off this trance, and think of –
if home indeed awaits us 521-522_179

wake from your sleep: no more sweet slumber 605_182

but nothing came of giving way to grief 628_182

down to the shore and ship at last we went,
bowed with anguish, cheeks all wet with tears 629-630_182

for who could see the passage of a goddess
unless she wished his mortal eyes aware? 635_182


A fair wind and the honey winds of home are all you seek 114_188

But anguish lies ahead 114_188

And empty words are evil 541_200


The west wind
Dropped, and a southeast gale came on- one more
Twist of the knife – taking me north again 545-546_224

And ah! How long, with what desire, I waited! 560_224

And she received me, loved me. 574_224


This night at last
He slept serene, his long-tried mind at rest 114-115_232

Looms of stone, great looms, whereon
The weaving nymphs make tissues, richly dyed
As the deep sea is; and clear springs in the cavern
Flow forever 131-134_232

what am I in for now?
Whose country have I come to this time? Rough
savages and outlaws, are they, or
godfearing people, friendly to castaways?
Where shall I take these things? Where take myself,
with no guide, no directions? 251-265_236

(Athena gender shift 280 to 300) 237

they had no wish to cheat me, but we were blown off course 353-354_239

At this the grey-eyed goddess
Athena smiled, and gave him a caress,
her looks being changed now, so she seemed a woman 366-367_239

You play a part as if it were your own tough skin 378_239

And let the future trouble you no more 456_241

The young bucks here, I know
Lie in wait for him in a cutter, bent
On murdering him before he reaches home 532-535_244


His own bed covering 59_248

(wild dogs…160) 251

the outsiders live on our labor 490_260


went, to put in mind of home… rousing him to return 5_267

how will your journey save you then? 21_267

we have a long days journey 67_269

well she loved me.
Ah how I miss that family 453-454_279

And may well you know as well
The friendship of my house, and many gifts
From me, so everyone may call you fortunate 450-453_285

Born to him in exile, reared with labor
Has lived ten years abroad and now returns
How would that man embrace his son! 25-26_290

How could a single man take on those odds?
Not even a hero could. 104-105_292

Who else
Beheld this but Athena? From the air
She walked, taking the form of a tall woman,
Handsome and clever at her craft. 182-186_294

I shall not be far distant then, for I
Myself desire battle 200-201_295

His bitter
Fortune and his wanderings are mine 241-242_296

Salt tears
Rose from the wells of longing in both men,
And cries burst from both as keen and fluttering
As those of the great taloned hawk,
Whose nestlings farmers take before they fly 255-259_296

Telemakhos, now strong with magic, smiled
Across at his own father 585-586 _305

They turned to bed and took the gift of sleep 592_305


If only this came true---
Our love would go to you, with many gifts;
Aye, every man who passed would call you happy 205-209_314_315

A masters tongue has a rough edge 239 _315

Licker of pots 281_316

The great tactician, lifting up his eyes,
Cried: 455-456_322

(second paragraph) 323

let me speak well of you as I pass on
over the boundless earth! 550-551_324

fortune 553_324

how many bitter seas men cross for hunger! 621_326

we two might try our hands against each other
in early summer when the days are long,
in meadow grass, with one good scythe for me
and one as good for you: we'd cut our way
down a deep hayfield 454-458_ 348


Itself can draw men’s hands 16-17_ 353

And the old woman answered:
“it is time, child,
you took an interest in such things 27-29 354

And do no overlook this: in my time
I had luck, lived well, stood well with men,
And gave alms, often to poor wanderers . 92-95_ 355_356

Who are you, where do you come from, of what nation
And parents were you born? 125-126_ 356

His black lands bear
Both wheat and barley, fruit trees laden bright,
New lambs at lambing time--- and the deep sea
Gives great hauls of fish by his good strategy,
So that his folks fair well 357

My heart is sore; but I must not be found
Sitting in tears here, in another’s house:
It is not well forever to be grieving 357

You were not born of mythic oak or stone 358

(359, second paragraph)

his eyes might have been made of horn or iron 360

or did I dream him? 363

come wash him, make a bed for him,
bedstead and colored rugs and coverlets
to let him lie warm into the gold of Dawn.

how will you understand me, friend, how find in me,
more than in common women, any courage
or gentleness 363

lives are short .
The hard man and his cruelties will be
Cursed behind his back and mocked in death.
But one whose heart and ways are kind- of him
strangers will bear report to the whole wide world,
and distant men will praise him 364

will you destroy me,
nurse, who gave me milk at your own breasts? 368

I’ll kill you, nurse or not, when the time comes-
When the time comes to kill the other women 368

The time for bed, sweet rest, is coming soon,
If only that warm luxury of slumber
Would come to enfold us, in our trouble 369

Fortunes 370

Now the child is grown, grown up, a man 370

Interpret me this dream: 370

My honeyed slumber left me 370

Many and many a dream is mere confusion
A cobweb of no consequence at all 371

If you were willing
To sit with me and comfort me, my friend,
No tide of sleep would ever close my eyes.
But mortals cannot got forever sleepless 372


And out of the night sky 376

Wakeful again with all her cares, reclining
In the soft bed, she wept and cried aloud. 377

If you could only make an end now quickly,
Let the arrow fly, stop my heart,
Or if some wind could take me by the hair
Up into a running cloud, to plunge in the tides of Ocean,
As hurricane winds 377

Sleep 377

What else does he claim to be?
Where are his family and fields of home” 381

Good luck 381

Hard times you’re having, surely 381

My own feelings keep going round and round
Upon this tether 381

Friends, no luck lies in that plan for us? 382

We might have shut his mouth a long time past,
The silvery speaker 383

While blood defiled their meat, and blurring tears
Flooded their eyes, heart-sore with woe to come 386


Athena cast a glance like a gray sea
Lifting her 391

Now to bring the tough bow out and bring
the iron blades. Now try those dogs at archery
to usher blood slaughter in. 391

Grey-eyed Athena
presently cast a sweet sleep on her eyes 402

Fortune 404

Zeus thundered
overhead, one loud crack for a sign
And Odysseus laughed within him that the son
of crooked-minded Kronos had flung that omen down 404

now flashed
arrow from twanging bow clean as a whistle
through every socket ring, and grazed not one
to thud with heavy brazen head beyond. 404-405

he dropped his eyes and nodded, and the prince
Telemakhos, true son of King Odysseus,
belted his sword on, clapped hand to his spear,
and with a clink and glitter of keen bronze
stood by his chair, in the forefront near his father. 405

golden: the cup was in his fingers:
the wine was even at his lips: and did he dream of death?
how could he? 409

a river of mortal red 409

knocking the bread and meat to soak in dusty blood 409

your last hour has come. You die in blood 410

an airy bed is what you need.
You'll be awake to see the primrose Dawn
when she goes glowing from the streams of Ocean
to mount her golden throne. 415

whose mind moved through the combat 415

(Athena gender shift) 415-416

Come here, cousin, stand by me 416

Battlespoil they want from our dead bodies 417

turning to strike and strike again 419

my part
was visionary--- reading the smoke of sacrifice 419

in blood and dust
he saw that crowd all fallen, many and many slain. 421

In fear
these women bore the cold weight of the dead 423

The first thing is to purify this place 425

taking his hands to kiss, his head and shoulders,
while he stood there, nodding to every one,
and overcome by longing and by tears 425


I did not see it,
I knew nothing. 430

it would have made your heart glow hot- a lion
splashed with blood and mire 430

come with me: you may bothe embark this time
for happiness together, after pain,
after long years. here is your prayer, your passion 430

Your heart is hard as flint and never changes 432

There are
secret signs we know, we two. 432

Their secret! as she heard it told, her knees
grew tremulous and weak, her heart failed her. 435

But here and now, what sign could be so clear
as this of our own bed? 436

that bed
salt blue sea
salt meat
revelation" 437


He yieled to her, and his heart was glad.
both parties later swore to terms of peace 462

the stormcloud as a shield 462

they kept on to their journey’s end. Behind them
the sun went down and all the roads grew dark 540-541_49)

From the 1961 Robert Fitzgerald translation of "The Odyssey" by Homer
(1998 Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition)

1 comment:

History will absolve Mike said...

"My own feelings keep going round and round
Upon this tether
Friends, no luck lies in that plan for us?"

"In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni."
We go round and round at night and are consumed by fire.
This is a Latin palindrome that Guy Debord used as a film title.

Have a nice day!