The Companions of Odysseus in Hades

By A. E. Stallings b. 1968

After Seferis

Since we still had a little
Of the rusk left, what fools
To eat, against the rules,
The Sun’s slow-moving cattle,

Each ox huge as a tank — 
A wall you’d have to siege
For forty years to reach
A star, a hero’s rank.

We starved on the back of the earth,
But when we’d stuffed ourselves,
We tumbled to these delves,
Numbskulls, fed up with dearth.

Source: Poetry (February 2014).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2014
 A. E. Stallings

Biography

A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology, Heroes & Patriotism

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.