Penelope and Odysseus as One Person: Ionna-Veronika Warwick


Odysseus and Penelope (1802) by Tischbein

One wants the world. The wing of dawn
beats in him: More! More!
The other never stirs from the loom.
An ancient rhythm repeats:
the real traveling is inward.”

One loves storms and clouds,
says death is a skyless country.
The other prefers trees,
says death is a cloud of leaves
where at last we understand
the sayings of the wind.

One asks why rest—
the horrible gallop of minutes
will trample us if we stay.
The other stops to caress
a single plume of grass;
leans to petals glistening with rain.

One craves extravagant words,
says to a love, “Enchant me.”
The other thread by thread
makes beauty more naked;
weighs a shiver of sunlight,
the stream closing around the hand.

One lets the first smudge of light
erase all dreams,
now as useless as daytime stars.
The other gathers dreams
like lost feathers,
the sky a nest of horizons.

A membrane of memory
grows between them,
a tapestry of tides and tales.
The wave and the shore,
they breathe one breath,
a sea, a story of return—

the moon in a fisherman’s net.

Ionna-Veronika Warwick

Penelope and Odysseus as One Person

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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3 Responses to Penelope and Odysseus as One Person: Ionna-Veronika Warwick

  1. K Fleming says:

    Would anyone know who owns the copyright of this poem as I would like to reprint it. Thank you.

  2. Kate Fleming says:

    Thank you for your suggestion, it doesn’t reveal the copyright holder, perhaps if I could find her own email address?

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