The Odyssey

by: Homer

Books 19–20

1
I noticed his glossy tunic too, clinging to his skin
like the thin glistening skin of a dried onion,
silky, soft, the glint of the sun itself.
2
Just as I
have come from afar, creating pain for many—
men and women across the good green earth—
so let his name be Odysseus . . .
the Son of Pain, a name he’ll earn in full.
3
So he vowed
and Athena set off uncontrollable laughter in the suitors,
crazed them out of their minds—mad, hysterical laughter
seemed to break from the jaws of strangers, not their own,
and the meat they were eating oozed red with blood—
tears flooded their eyes, hearts possessed by grief.