by Glen Levin Swiggett
Penelope is more than legend, more
Than sign of faithfulness one thinks is due
In marriage, for her story gives us, through
The keeping of the secret vow she swore,
The tale's eternal ending, o'er and o'er
Repeated, since in absence suitors woo
Ulysses' wife who his long overdue
Return awaits to drive them from her door.
'Tis strange that one could write of martial deed
So well and then a tale so simply tell
As Homer has done in his Odyssey,
Where wooers fight in rivalry, and feed,
With interwoven bits of pastoral
And hints of medieval chivalry.
[This sonnet was part of a group of Swiggett's sonnets entitled Famous Women: Sacred and Profane (1960). To read more from this collection, click here