Iris Law’s poem “Circumnavigation“
chosen to be included in the 2009 Best of the Net Anthology is a beautiful poem. Read it here:
It works on many levels, as Tammy Ho’s critical analysis, and the responses to it (including mine) demonstrate.
The level that hooked me was the one hinting at the hunger for home and the wish to return to it. Real or imagined, a literal home or a metaphorical one, the womb or country of origin, it is always there, calling. Going round the world, we carry that hunger, that need, hear the siren’s call, knowing at the same time, the impossibility of returning…
Iris Law speaks of the pain of this recognition, the moment “the spear hit home.”
Kavafis knew this problem and wrote about it in his Ithaca.
Odysseus had to find out for himself. Tellingly, he set out again, soon after he returned home.