No disrespect to Tennyson’s famous poem, so beloved of high-school valetudinarians, I mean valedictorians, but I always suspected there was a domestic angle.
Penelope, at the loom, did truly pine for you;
Forgetting, in your absence, what a jerk you are;
Wove, unwove; dis-, or mis-remembers your bizarre
Tastes in the sack. The noisy unsalubrious crew
Of suitors, by comparison, give her a clue
Just what’s out there; mind’s eye, you’re steering by a star,
Not frolicking with nymphs and whatnot. At the bar
— Your open bar – the suitors swill your house’s brew.
Then you get back, dispatch the suitors, draw the bow.
You’re real now. Not potential; not imagined; and you snore.
Your tastes have coarsened since you went to Troy. You smell
Of garlic, bilge, and fish, and nymph. You’re not the beau
She thought you; really never were. And what a bore
Your tales of Troy. She thinks: It’s time to say farewell.