Ithaca lies at the end of the road,
a long journey on the dolphin's riding,
the wisdom learned through returning again
to the hearth's grace.
Long are the years of the voyage,
the dangers may be dark and vile,
but Ithaca is waiting, waiting,
Ithaca awaits across the water's way.
Many are the things that dazzle,
the all-distracting dreams,
the siren, the enchantress, the lotus,
all dangle like fishermen's lures,
but a heart set is a powerful mover
and each day you reach the next morning
is the sweetest of splendid victories
until Ithaca itself you view.
So pray to the gods at the outset;
never let yourself think life over
until the Ithaca-day
when the sun's sacred dawn
sees you settled in heart
and finally home.
I wrote a word.
The word then grew
and turned into a forest fair
that perfume-scented evening air,
extending itself outward everywhere,
ten thousand thousand trees in brilliant green
and thick with branch and laughing, leafy stem,
the trees from dawn to noon to gently falling evendim
would speak new words
to forest beasts and birds
that never human ear had heard.