From Vergil’s Aeneid to James Joyce’s Ulysses and Derek Walcott’s Omeros, writers have used the Odyssey as a framework to explore the meaning of memory, home, and homecoming. When the American poet Louise Glück looks at a marriage unraveling in her collection of poems entitled Meadowlands (Glück 1996), she too turns to the Odyssey. Some of the poems in the collection refer directly to their ancient model as Glück gives voice to Circe’s regrets and anger, Penelope’s grief, and Telemachus’ ambivalence towards his parents. Other poems allude less transparently to their Homeric antecedents, but also go back to their ancient source as Glück explores the link between ideas of homecoming and grief. In this paper I examine the role of nostalgia as it plays out in Glück’s Meadowlands, and trace the various paths that link her poetry with the ancient Greek epic tradition.
Pache, C.O. (2008). "That's what I'll remember": Louise Glück’s Odyssey from nostos to nostalgia. Classical and Modern Literature, 28(2), 1-14.
Classical and Modern Literature