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Circe's Power

Circe's Power

by Louise Glück

Stanza VI Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Line 16

I foresaw your departure,

  • Boom. And just like that, the honeymoon is over.
  • Circe begins this sixth stanza with a prophecy: she knew all along that she and Odysseus were not meant to be. She looked into the future and saw that he was bound to leave her.
  • Again, there's no enjambment or tricky poetry stuff going on in this line. It's pure and simple and, well, sad: "I foresaw your departure" (16).
  • There's also something a bit formal about her tone here, as though she's trying to act all cool and distant.

Lines 17-18

Your men with my help braving
The crying and pounding sea. You think

  • But before she gets too sentimental, Circe regains her composure and her magnanimous, sorceress-like way and tells Odysseus that she also foresaw that she would save him and his men.
  • She had a vision of Odysseus tossed about in a stormy sea, only able to survive with her help. She knew all along that Odysseus would leave her, and she knew all along that she would be the only reason he would survive the seas.
  • At the end of line 18 (which is the end of stanza 6), she tags on yet another enjambed fragment, "You think," making us beg to know what she thinks Odysseus thinks. We have to swim through an ocean of white space before we can find out.

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