by Louise Glück
Though the sea is only mentioned once in this poem (in line 18), it is constantly on our mind. It is hard for us to separate anything having to do with The Odyssey from the sea, because so much of Odysseus' journey goes down on the ocean. We also can't help but feel just a little sorry for Circe, who we know lives all alone on an island in the middle of the ocean. That's got to be rough and not a little bit lonely. The sea's presence in the poem makes us both anxious and lonely. We imagine Circe looking out at the sea, watching Odysseus sail away.
- Line 18: Here, the sea is personified as Circe describes it as "crying" and "pounding." We know that she means to describe stormy conditions, but her word choice here (in a time of Olympian gods) makes us think twice.