by Louise Glück
Where It All Goes Down
This poem sets our imagination spinning, and we dream up the setting as we go along. We're both in a Greek amphitheater as audience watching Circe move through the theatrically lit stage, and we are at her side as she gazes out over the emerald blue sea, Odysseus' ship becoming smaller and smaller on the horizon. We are on the steps of Circe's stone mansion watching her give parting words to a packing Odysseus. We are also members of a jury in a court room in which literature's greatest characters are being tried for their crimes; in this case, Circe is being tried for transforming Odysseus' men into swine. We are inside of Circe's mind as she writes in her diary at her desk, exposing the heart-thundering thoughts of a woman mad with love and grief.