Throughout his epic poem the Odyssey, Homer uses vivid imagery to illustrate the harrowing adventures of Odysseus and his men on their journey. An extensive example of imagery in book 12 is Homer’s description of Odysseus’s ship sailing between Kharybdis and Skylla in lines 283–306 (Fitzgerald translation):
vomited, all the sea was like a cauldron
seething over intense fire, when the mixture
suddenly heaves and rises.
The shot spume
soared to the landside heights, and fell like rain.
But when she swallowed the sea water down
we saw the funnel of the maelstrom, heard
the rock bellowing all around, and dark
sand raged on the bottom far below.
My men all blanched against the gloom, our eyes
were fixed upon that yawning mouth in fear
of being devoured.
Then Skylla made her strike,
whisking six of my best men from the ship.
I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen
and caught sight of their arms and legs, dangling
high overhead. Voices came down to me
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