by Ezra Pound
Canto I Perseverance Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, (1-2)
Odysseus and his men have been through a lot and have lost a lot of their friends. But they always keep pushing onward, like we find out in the beginning line of "Canto I." The very fact that "Canto I" opens with the phrase "And then" suggests that these men are always moving from one thing to another, persevering and never giving up.
[…] our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us out onward with bellying canvas, (4-6)
Odysseus and his men keep sailing and doing their thing, even though their bodies are "Heavy with weeping." They've gone through a lot in the past few months. But even though they're tired from crying so much, they'll never stop struggling to get home.
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,
To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities
Covered with close-webbed mist, (12-14)
It's not like Odysseus and his crew are sailing to Cancun for a nice spring break. These guys are sailing right to the edge of the world, to a place that's always covered in darkness and filled with strange people. But hey, a crew's gotta do what a crew's gotta do.