As I'm shortly off to the Aegean for my annual immersion in sea, retsina and crumpled paperbacks, I am reading JV Luce's book, Celebrating Homer's Landscapes, which argues, against the weight of much current scholarship, that Homer's poetic landscapes are real ones (ah, the Literature and Life theme again!).
The cover shows the glorious harbour at Ithaca which allows me to quote one of my own poems from my collection The Narrators.
A harbour so perfect in its enclosing arms
we arrogant humans say: is it natural?
and think of Ulysses with his salt-caked skin
enjoying the long aftermath of war.
Travelling (as Cavafy says in his wise poem)
being much the better part of arriving:
like a book whose last chapter we evade,
recalling a need to put a light to the gas ring
or accomplish any of a dozen light tasks
that might include placing a log on the dying stove.
After that, the tucking of a bookmark in the page
and tapping the closed book on one's knee,
admiring the jacket design which tempted us
in a shop of piled volumes, all deliciously unread.