Sunday, February 22, 2009

Odyssey of Homer

There is no doubt that I love books. I could still remember days when I was a kid when I love to spend my school spare time at the library. My library card was always in good use. I always carry a book at home especially on the weekend. I just realized how important they are to me. It helped me mold myself in a way. It helped me to appreciate things more for books teach the simple pleasure of reading. It also gave me a very good imagination, for with books you need imagination to go along with it. It made me aware of the things “out there”. It gave me the chance to travel just by flipping pages after pages. Books indeed are essential to me.

Now I want to share something with you, it might not be some sort of special book that has some secrets in it. But this book would have to be one of the oldest tales man has ever written. I am talking about “The Odyssey of Homer”. I must admit I really didn’t take my world literature that seriously. I just read and made sure I get the point in order for me to pass my subjects both in high school and in college, but I never did appreciate it. I must admit once you get caught up with algebra and literature you really don’t have a lot of time to ponder and just savor literature itself, right? Anyway so much for that. So I have read excerpts from “The Odyssey” and they are interesting I must say. Then after that I have seen a couple of films related to Greek literature, The Odyssey as one of them. Though I thought the story is really nice I really didn’t bother to get the book until now.

I think it just sprang out of me that there have been a lot of books out there so good that not a lot of people, like me, really don’t get to appreciate. I realized that after watching the movie “The Reader”. One of the books highlighted on the film was The Odyssey. I just realized then that during the time before technology over run books people loved to read. But these days it just became a hobby. Out of nowhere I thought a book like The Odyssey which is centuries old (8th century BC) written by a literary icon has been read by a lot of people. People like….. Einstein maybe, Mozart, Shakespeare, or we will never know maybe even Jesus. So I thought how can’t we, including me, just ignore literary classics like this and instead pick the newest copy of the best sellers. I have no problem with that but if we really want real literature then I think we should start reading our classics. So I did!

With great inspiration I picked up my first classic literature, “The Odyssey of Homer” (A Verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum). Well I never knew there were different verse translation to the story but I know I’ve picked one of the best. Page after page I now I realized how beautiful this story has come to pass and why this story will never cease. I come to appreciate literature itself and it’s pure essence. I come to appreciate books even more.

With this I end this blog with deep encouragement to anyone who reads this to get a copy of any classic literature. Make sure that the version you are getting is something you can cope with reading. Take your time reading, it is one simple pleasure not a lot of people these days appreciate.

Muse, tell me of the man of many wiles,
the man who wandered many paths of exile
after he sacked Troy’s sacred citadel.
He saw the cities-mapped the minds-of many;
and on the sea, his spirit suffered every adversity-to keep his life intact;
to bring his comrades back. In that last task,
his will was firm and fast, and yet he failed:
he could not save his comrades. Fools, they foiled
themselves: they ate the oxen of the Sun,
the herd Helios Hyperion;
the lord of light requited their transgression-
he took away the day of their return

-The Odyssey of Homer-

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