by Louise Glück
With all of this talk about what is real and what is an illusion, magic features largely. Circe argues that she uses her magic to expose the truth (i.e. make men who act like pigs literally look like pigs). Circe's power (title alert!) is her ability to practice magic, but there are times in this poem when her magic doesn't seem to work, and when she relies instead on words.
- Line 23: "Hold" is a pun. In this moment, "hold" means both to literally hold someone in your arms and to figuratively keep them prisoner.