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The Wine Red Sea:  Journeys of Odysseus
© Copyright 2014 - 2018 by Peter J Ponzio

The First Journey Ends, Book XII

Finally, Odysseus is alone; all his men are dead and he is stranded on a makeshift raft.  The prophecy of Tiresias has come true:  his men are dead, and he will come home late, a broken man.  Eventually, he retraced his steps and came back to Charybdis, where he was sucked into the vortex and was saved by gripping at the trunk of a fig-tree.  Thankfully, the gods hid the man of sorrow from Scylla. He drifted for an additional ten days, where he once again made his way to the island of Ogygia, the home of Calypso, and eventually, to Phaeacia. Odysseus’ journey is circular.  He starts his tale on Phaeacia, explaining about Calypso, and ends his tale at the starting point.  A number of questions arise as a result of Odysseus’ trip.  Is he trapped in the land of the gods unable to leave?  Is he dreaming, having fallen asleep several times at inopportune moments?  Is he being truthful?  After all, he is the man of many disguises and has used lying in the past to get out of scrapes.  Has his journey really happened?  Did he go missing after the War?  There are no comrades left to verify his tale; all of them are dead.  What really happened to Odysseus in the years since the War? Of course, these questions cannot be answered, but they remain to intriguing, nonetheless.  It is a testament to the poet Homer (whoever he may be) that he weaved so intricate a plot that some 2,800 years after the Odyssey was composed, people are still talking about the poem.  It would be safe to say that the man of many disguises would be pleased by the attention devoted to him, as well. Odysseus