Analyze any poem in: Poetry in Six Dimensions

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the poem, "Odysseus" by W.S. Merwin, the hero is forever sailing home to his beloved Penelope...In spite of all the dangers he encounters, he cannot stop trying to get home. In this poem, there is a twist which indicates that Penelope is losing her patience and has wished upon Odysseus every danger or peril he has encountered. Perhaps she has known in her heart of hearts his betrayal.  Perhaps she has seen him with the other women in which he has encountered. Perhaps she knows that he has been unfaithful. So Penelope is the reason for his stuggles. She has wished every dangerous encounter upon her beloved Odysseus. Odysseus cannot get home because his wife Penelope has cursed him with her heart for leaving her in the beginning.