A well-known poem by Singaporean poet and scholar Edwin Thumboo, whom I first met in a book he edited “& Words: Poems Singapore and Beyond,” which I reviewed for the “Asiatic Literary Journal” several years ago. This poem is perhaps his best known of all his poems.
ULYSSES BY THE MERLION (for Maurice Baker)
I have sailed many waters,
Skirted islands of fire,
Contended with Circe
Who loved the squeal of pigs;
Passed Scylla and Charybdis
To seven years with Calypso,
Heaved in battle against the gods.
Beneath it all
I kept faith with Ithaca, travelled,
Travelled and travelled,
Suffering much, enjoying a little;
Met strange people singing
New myths; made myths myself.
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