That sail in cloudless light
which tires of islands,
a schooner beating up the Caribbean
for home, could be Odysseus
home-bound through the Aegean,
just as that husband’s
sorrow under the sea-grapes, repeats
the adulterer’s hearing Nausicaa’s name
in every gull’s outcry.
But whom does this bring peace? The classic war
between a passion and responsibility
is never finished, and has been the same
to the sea-wanderer and the one on shore,
now wriggling on his sandals to walk home,
since Troy sighed its last flame,
and the blind giant’s boulder heaved the trough
from which The Odyssey’s hexameters come
to finish up as Caribbean surf.
The classics can console. But not enough.