The Odyssey Read-A-Long – A Letter to Homer
Ah Homer, we meet at last. I joined this read-a-long with A Literary Odyssey just so I could finally make your acquaintance and tackle one of the most intimidating books on my list: The Odyssey.
Here’s what I know about you:
- You are not Homer Jay Simpson (as Google would have me believe).
- You lived in ancient times possibly around 850 BC.
- You are considered the greatest epic poet; however, since no one knows who you really are, there is some doubt as to whether you really authored The Odyssey and The Iliad at all.
- You may have been blind.
Here’s what I know about your book:
- The Odyssey is a giant in literary canon having an impact and far-reaching influence that continues to this day.
- The poem was shared in the oral tradition until somebody thought to write it down after the alphabet was invented.
- The Odyssey is an epic poem which is typically a book-length narrative verse that tells the tale of a hero and the quest he has embarked upon.
- In this story, our hero is Odysseus who has been away fighting in the Trojan War for 10-long years. It takes him another 10 years to reach his home in Ithaca. Since he has been away forever, his wife and son believe he is dead. The poem chronicles Odysseus’ journey home and back to his family.
Here’s what you should know about me:
- I’m reading your poem on my phone. You might find that weird.
- The foundation of Odysseus’ story is ingrained in my subconscious after years of cultural osmosis.
- There are a large number of translations of The Odyssey out there and I’m thinking of ditching the one I currently have because other versions seem more, um, poetic. As well as popular.
- I tried to read your poem many years ago because an ex-boyfriend said everyone should read Homer. I picked up The Odyssey but gave up very quickly. I don’t think I gave you a fair chance, so here I am to try again.
- Sorry, I’m writing point form because it’s 3 a.m.
Homer, don’t take this the wrong way, but I was scared of you. I was intimidated by The Odyssey because I’m afraid I won’t understand it. But I realized today there’s a big difference between reading a poem and studying a poem. This is a read-a-long and reading is discovery, exploration, having fun. I’m ready and we have 4 weeks together. Let’s make this summer fling truly epic!