You Ulysses

Collectam ex Ilio pubem,
collectam exilio pubem.

A people from Troy,
a people for exile,
and all of us now lost, lonely children.
You Ulysses, hero Ulysses,
you are the most wicked of all!
You call yourself a lover
but with your anger
you’ve built not one horse
but a thousand.
Now do you see
how you’ve breached the walls
you built to protect us?

Depending on your background, collectam ex Ilio pubem/collectam exilio pubem (a people from Troy/a people for exile) is either a Latin grammatical mistake or a very good pun. Since the Romans thought of themselves as the surviving exiles from Troy, I thought of it as the start for a poem.

Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey (and the other fragments we have of the story—for example, the trick with the Trojan horse is not from Homer) are some of the oldest epic poetry we have and are so fundamental to our sense of cultural self that they are still a source of inspiration.

Being a parent is not easy, but everyone does as best they can. No parent is perfect and your ability is often a reflection of how you were raised as a child. So in the end, we are all, sometimes, lost, lonely children.

Thank you for reading You Ulysses. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge,

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