STOP MISS CLASS!
" Did I miss anything important?"
"No, we did nothing...nothing at all. In fact, we watched Hercules the entire period!"
If you missed class, visit with someone else prior to communicating with me, my young friends. If you know that you are going to miss class, then please communicate with me prior to your absence.
1. Part 2 of "The Odyssey" exam was given to each student today. This is due on Friday. I have included it for you below. Please read your instructions, and then let me know if you have any questions. Cut and paste it as a word document, giving yourself ample room to record your answers.
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
This poem is about knowing oneself in victory and adversity, and recognizing that the moments of adversity are merely “stepping stones” to the final destination.....”Ithaca.” The wisdom you obtain with each step reveals the destination's true meaning.
So, what does your assignment entail? I am asking you to write your own “Ithaca;” yes, a poem where you identify your Ithaca, along with the “Poseidons” that thwart your path, and the “Athenas” that help “bring you home.” I will give you a list of required elements. Let me share a previous example with you.
The following example was written by Ryan Bailey, a former student, who graduated in 2000.
By Ryan Bailey
I am Ryan of the nimble fingers.
Oh Muse, guide and inspire me
to invoke tears like Orpheus.
The ebony and ivory jewels
will inspire friends and foes alike.
This is my Ithaca, to amuse, mesmerize and
create melodious sounds with my nimble fingers.
Oh Muse, guide me through the
rough seas of competition. I will place wax
in my ears, never to hear the Siren's song tempting me to doubt myself. I hear them luring me. Their deadly sweet voices singing that “I must give up,” that “I must jump to them,” that “my Ithaca is only a dream,” never realized. Their voices must be resisted, or the desire will perish within me.
Oh, Muse, grant me the power to avoid the temptation of the Lotus. It comes in the form of fleeting urges that give me dreams of euphoria; yet, when I awake from the television, video games, and films, I am reminded that so much time has been lost.
Avoidance of such temptation must occur, or Ithaca will never come to be.
Oh Muse, protect me from the angry Poseidon, who takes the form of my father. He rears his head in the form of disappointment. I remind him, that he, too, once had a father who disapproved of his “Ithaca,”.....to play professional tennis. Athena comes to my aide in the form of my mother, who reminds me that my Ithaca is attainable! “Listen,” she says. “Prepare,” she reminds. “Practice,” she rehearses. Always followed with the welcoming arms of a loved one not seen in many years.
Oh, Muse, grant me the power to never allow discouragement to defeat my purpose. The voyage is long, full of obstacles, but I am Ryan, of the nimble fingers, assured, bold, aware, and ready
for the journey.
1. Your “Ithaca” must begin with an epithet.
“What is an epithet, Crampton?”
“Ino, of the slim ankles” is an epithet. “Zeus, the Thunderer” is an epithet. “Poseidon, the Earthshaker” is an epithet. “Athena, of the gray eyes” is an epithet. An epithet is a descriptive word or descriptive phrase.
Your epithet may pertain to an intrinsic characteristic or an extrinsic characteristic.
2. Your poem needs to be a minimum of four stanzas. More is acceptable.
3. Your must relate your own obstacles to TWO of those faced by Odysseus.
4. You must identify your Ithaca in the first stanza.
5. You must identify your “Athenas” (those that assist you in reaching your “Ithaca.”)
6. You must identify your “Poseidons” (those that attempt to thwart your goal.)
7. You must reference other Greek characters and connect them to your subject matter.
8. You must include at least one allusion within the poem. The allusion can relate to any aspect of your “Ithaca.” For example, Ryan Bailey uses the allusion, “ebony and ivory jewels” to indicate the piano keys. He also alludes to Penelope embracing Odysseus in association to the love received by his supportive mother.
9. Each of the above requirements must be indicated using BOLD TYPE in your poem
10. Give your piece an appropriate title based on content.
11. Your poem must be typed, 12-16 point font, submitted in a fashion that is aesthetically pleasing and illustrates your “Ithaca.” I will share some previous examples to assist you with this part of the assignment
Please let me know if I can assist you in any way.
May the power of Athena be with you!