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Rating: 3.8

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you will not meet them

unless you carry them in your soul,
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M. Alan Shepherd 27 June 2009

I first read this poem in 1973 - home on leave from the Marine Corps. I had a copy of it with me from then on,18 months on Guam, then 19 months with the 2d Division. A lot older now, I am getting my MA in History in August - and the first line of the poem popped into my mind yesterday. This summer I am applying at several schools, hoping to attain my PhD. The poem fit my life when I was young, and fits now as I continue my journeys. mas

34 9 Reply
Ada Cachafeiro 31 January 2012

Better it last for years, so that when you reach the island you are old, rich with all you have gained on the way, These verses have brought light to my struggle of making sense of living a long life. It is like a parable of life. Ada

29 9 Reply
Mia Shannon 18 November 2008

Beautifu... I remember first hearing this poem being recited at Jacqueline Kennedy's funeral.

31 6 Reply
Dr M Relich 07 May 2021

Who is the translator, or translators. Surely it's important to identify translators of foreign; language poems?

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flip floppers 03 October 2019

does anyone know when this poem takes place?

1 1 Reply
Athina Ioakimidou 30 October 2019

ItsI a symbolism of Odysseus' journey back home to Ithaca after the Trojan war, so it is timeless. It is supposed to symbolise life, with Ithaca being old age when you look back on your life, which is the journey there

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Peggy Barry 15 March 2019

My husband passed last Saturday....he read me this beautiful poem when we first met. Married thirty three years death has parted us. To me the poem symbolizes life’s journey and our life together. He is now on Heaven’s shore basking in Eternity. See you in the Morning Darling.

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Barbara 04 May 2019

I'm so sorry that you have been temporarily separated from your delightful and beloved travelling companion for this part of your journey. Walt Whitman has a sonnet called " When I heard at the close of day" which tells of a joyful reunion after a separation. I find it comforting.

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Grace 16 July 2018

translator for this poem

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grace333@sonic.net 04 June 2018

Who did this translation? Thank you for information

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