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The poem “Ithaca” and how allusion is used in it Essay

Allusion is a reference to a historical or literary person, place or even with which the reader is assumed to be familiar. In the poem, “Ithaca”, the author refers to Lestrygonians, Cyclopes, and the Poseidon. Lestrygonians are cannibals who destroy all of Odysseus’ ships except his own and kill the crews. A Cyclops is a ficticious creature with one eye. A Poseidon is a fierce monster.

“Ithaca”

When you start on your journey to Ithaca,

Then pray that the road is long, full of knowledge.

Do not fear the Lestrygonians

and the Cyclopes and the angry Poseidon.

You will never meet such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your body and your spirit.

You will never meet the Lestrygonians,

the Cyclopes and the fierce Poseidon,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not raise them up before you.

Then pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many,

that you will enter ports seen for the first time

with such pleasure, with such joy!

Stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony,

and pleasurable perfumes of all kinds,

buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can;

visit hosts of Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for long years;

and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,

rich with all that you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would never have taken the road.

But she has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not defrauded you.

With the great wisdom you have gained, with so much

experience,

you must surely have understood by then what Ithacas

mean.

The poem, “Ithaca”, has a few uses of allusion in it. One occurs when the author refers to Ithaca, a place that should take your whole life to reach. Another occurs when he refers to the ficticious creatures that would be encountered on the way to “Ithaca”. The author expects you to know what this place is. He also expects you to already know about the creatures that he mentions.

This poem is discussing a life journey to a paradise land known as Ithaca. It describes the horrific creatures that you would meet along the way. It also explains that this journey should take most of your life to reach the place called Ithaca. I think that the author is referring to the challenges in life when he talks about the fierce monsters, and that overcoming them will allow you to reach Ithaca.


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