EMILY WILSON

Poems Inspired by the Odyssey

Many poets inspired by the Odyssey have re-imagined characters and scenes from the epic. Below are some examples. Kamran Javadizadeh, associate professor of English at Villanova University, inspired this topic with a tweet about pairing poems inspired by the Odyssey with Professor Wilson’s translation.

Edith Hall’s The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer’s Odyssey surveys the poem’s artistic, political, and social reception.

  • Margaret Atwood, “Siren Song” (1974)

  • J. L. Borges, “Ars Poetica” (1960)

  • Joseph Brodsky, “Odysseus to Telemachus” (1977)

  • C. P. Cavafy, “Ithaka” (1911)

  • Michael Collier, “Argos“ (2000)

  • Carol Ann Duffy, “Penelope” (1999)

  • Louise Glück, “Penelope’s Song” (1996)

  • Louise Glück “Telemachus' confession” (1996)

  • Louise Glück, “Telemachus’ Detachment” (1996)

  • Louise Glück, “Telemachus’ Kindness” (1996)

  • John Gower, “Tale of Circe and Ulysses” (1380)

  • Jorie Graham, “Self-Portrait as Hurry and Delay“ (1987)

  • Marilyn Hacker, “Mythology” (1986)

  • HD, “At Ithaca” (1924)

  • HD, “Circe” (1924)

  • HD, “Helen” (1924)

  • Barbara Hamby, “The Odyssey in Six Sonnets” (2018)

  • Peter Huchel, “Das Grab des Odysseus”

  • Amorak Huey, “We Were All Odysseus in Those Days” (2019)

  • Franz Kafka, “The Silence of the Sirens” (1931)

  • Nico Kazantzakis, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (1938)

  • Chloe Koutsoumbeli, “Penelope III”

  • Michael Longley, “A Bed of Leaves” (1995)

  • Osip Mandelstam, “Insomnia. Homer. Taut sails.” (1915)

  • W.S. Merwin, “Odysseus” (1960)

  • Georges Moustaki, “Grandfathers” (1969)

  • Dorothy Parker, “Penelope” (1928)

  • Christine Perrin, "Reading Telemachus" (2017)

  • Maya Phillips, Erou (2019)

  • John Poch, “Penelope” (2008)

  • Ezra Pound, “Canto I” (1925)

  • Umberto Saba, Six Poems (1998)

  • Edna St. Vincent Millay, “An Ancient Gesture” (1949)

  • Giorgos Seferis “Thrush II - Sensual Elpenor” (1947)

  • A.E. Stallings, “The Wife of the Man of Many Wiles” (1999)

  • Wallace Stevens, “The Sail of Ulysses” (1954)

  • Wallace Stevens, “The World as Meditation”

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Lotos-Eaters” (1832)

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses” (1842)

  • Ocean Vuong, “Telemachus” (2016)

  • Derek Walcott, “Sea Grapes” (1976)

Songs Inspired by the Odyssey

  • Akala’s Odyssey

  • Nick Cave, ”Night of the Lotus Eaters”

  • Cream, “Tales of Brave Ulysses”

  • Jack Garton, “Ulysses”

  • Robin Laing, “Ulysses”

  • Ridan, “Ulysse”

  • Sleater-Kinney. “The End of You”

  • Steely Dan, “Home at Last”

  • Suzanne Vega, “Calypso”