Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for The Odysseus

For this, my third year doing the challenge, I am going literary. For every letter of the alphabet I will talk about a book, an author or a character from fiction or myth that made an impression, was inspirational, or caused me to think.

Odysseus Ajax Louvre F340

As a kid I had a large picture book of the Iliad and Odyssey. The angular, stylized illustrations still stick in my mind. They were very much like this illustration from a Greek urn depicting Odysseus and Ajax fighting over Achilles' armor.

I loved the story, immortalized by Homer. But particularly I love Odysseus.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I fully understood why.

Despite being gone twenty long years, he remained faithful to his wife, Penelope, and she to him. It is the most classic of love stories.

And not only was Odysseus loved by his wife, he was loved by his faithful dog Argus, the first to recognize him when returned home. Here's a poem I remember. I had no idea who wrote it until I searched the internet. (Such an amazing tool!)

Argus  by Eleanor Farjeon

Argus was a puppy,
Frisking full of joy,
Ulysses was his master,
Who sailed away to Troy.

Argus on the seashore,
Watched the ships white track,
Barked a little puppy bark
To bring his master back.

Argus was an old dog,
Too gray and tired for tears,
He lay outside the house-door,
And watched for twenty years.

When twenty years were ended,
Ulysses came from Troy,
Argus wagged an old dog's wag,
And then he died for joy.


The 1997 Hallmark mini-series, is the best version of Odysseus' struggle to get home that I have yet to see. I thought Armand Assante was perfect for the role.

O is for Odysseus and his Odyssey

Other O influences include:
The Owl and Pussycat by Edward Lear, P. D. Ouspensky


  1. Terrific post and blog. You couldn't have chosen a better literary topic! BTW, was in the US Virgin Is. for a wedding. So gorgeous. I would imagine you've lots of inspiration in such a setting.

    If you've the time, pop by my blog. I'm the author of the Bella and Britt series for kids.

  2. what a great post--and to be faithful for twenty years--amazing

  3. Great Bish! And you're right. Armand Assante WAS perfect for the role!!!!

    Odysseus was amazing. What a beautiful love story! I heart Argus! :-)

  4. I used to love all the stories of Odysseus and his travels. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Oooh, I'll have to check the miniseries out on Netflix. Amen to faithfulness. And what a wonderful tribute to Argus. Dogs are the best. NOT, says this cat. Meow.

  6. A dog's faithfulness is one of the few guarantees in life.

  7. I love Odysseus. He was my chosen hero in my college greek mythology class. I wrote about him and the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, which consequently I watched last night haha.

  8. Man's best friend,thy name is Argus, OK Penelope too. Love mythology,love Homer and definitely love Odysseus.

  9. This is a fresh twist on The Odyssey. I should really reread it! I teach Aristophanes' old comedies to my lit students, but this would be something new. I'm over from A to Z so stop on by if you like! Catherine
    (Catherine Stine's Idea City)

  10. A truly great post but made me so sad. I always cry at animal stories. My granddaughter's dog's name is Argus.

  11. Oh that's cool. There are so many stories where they aren't faithful to their spouse. It is good to hear one that they remain loyal. And of course the dog would remain loyal, they just do that. Thanks for posting.

  12. I read about Odysseus in high school. I thought he was a fascinating character.

    That poem is beautiful and sad.

  13. What a terrific post! I especially love the poem about Argus.

  14. I've always loved the stories of Odysseus and I also thought Armand Assante made a fabulous Odysseus. Great post, Bish. : )

  15. I studied ancient history at uni, including the guy who wrote these...and I still have never read them! They're on my TBR shelf.

  16. Hi Bish .. love this tale - but over the years we forget, then it comes back to remind us .. it's so excellent you're doing these posts.

    I love the poem and no I hadn't seen it before .. what fun .. cheers Hilary

  17. I was looking for the poem Argus, which I knew about 50 years ago when in 4th grade. And here I found it! Thank you for posting.

  18. This poem has been set to music and I sang it as a boy in a music festival song competition way back in the 1950s. Does anybody now have the music?


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