The Odyssey, Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald, 1961
Homer’s epic poem about the 20 years of wandering of Odysseus, the crafty war making King from Ithaka, remains a great read in Fitzgerald’s classic iambic pentameter translation except for the Greek spelling of names. Once I figured out who Achilles, Patroclus, etc were, it all read quite nicely. Even 3200 or so years after the Trojan War, the story is still spell-binding. The myths and the stories we learned in high school continue to make for high drama: Cyclops, Sirens, Circe, Scilla and Charybdis, the giant Laistrygonians, and on and on in Odysseus’s tale as he tries to reach Penelope and Telemachus on Ithaca. The major themes of western literature are all here: father and son; husband and wife; war and peace; revenge and mercy. A fine book which repaid its re-reading many times over.