Penelope to Ulysses
Kathleen Gilbert translating the Latin of Ovid
This your Penelope sends to you, slow Ulysses ;
Don’t write back : come yourself !
Troy is certainly defeated by now, hated by the Greek girls ;
Priam and all of Troy were hardly worth it.
I wish that, when his fleet was asked for in Sparta
Raging waters would have overwhelmed the adulterer !
I don’t deserve to lie on a frigid bed,
Nor to complain that the days go by so slowly ;
Nor should I be seeking answers in the space of nightfall
My hands weary from widow’s weaving.
When was I not afraid of grave risks?
The thing is, love is full of frightening terror.
I imagined you in violent Trojan battles ;
The name Hector always made me turn pale.
Award winning poet Kathleen Gilbert received an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State in 2013, after retiring from a career in public transportation. She has been interested in the Classics since taking Latin in high school and at the University of Rochester studying with N.O. Brown. Her work has been published in Transfer, The Best of the Steel Toe Review and online at Swampwriting. Her first book, Just Us Chickens, is available at Amazon.