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.