Women of the Odyssey 1. Penelope She sat,her nimble fingers untangling her own freshly woven silk threads,unbeknownst to her eager, greedy potential suitors.Her hands shook but she worked quickly:the beautiful cunning Penelope.Weaving and unweaving,all the while seducing those vile men who saw only beauty.She wants her Odysseus back – his love, his touch, his care,but mostly she wants home again.The grand rooms, sturdy walls, soft carpets,all under her word, her law;she was queen.But the queen is no queen without her king,so she lost her crown and dignity.Forced by her own son to resign to her lonely chamber,for widows can never love again.She frowned and tore at the threads –her loom became her kingdom.No house, no king, no family,only her poor, disheveled shroud could she rule over.Shrouded by the shroud she unraveled every night,only to rebuild it day after day after day.She knew of the whispers woven in her palace:poor Penelope, lonely Penelope, helpless Penelope.But she knew she was strong.Strong enough to weave the threads,strong enough to unravel the knots,strong enough to pretend to be weak.She grew her strengthfrom her beloved distaff and loom:Queen of tapestry. 2. Calypso Bon voyage! Have a good trip –Not the gods nor he see the tear fallen to my lip.Goodbye to another love, another heartbreakI offered it all but nothing did he take.Really? Not immortality, paradise nor love?Instead he played with my heart, always sitting up aboveon the cliff where he cried for his dear, dear wife,who will never know his could-have-been Ogygia life.After seven years of false hopethat he would fall in love with me, elope,and never return to his home landwhere I can never go: I am bannedfrom leaving this ever lonely island of onejust me and my paradise, company? None.I am cursed with a Heaven too pureso that any real man will be sureto leave me and my allureas always, left forlorn and insecure. 3. Circe I never cared for men who don’t adore me.Ugh, those grunting, swaggering animals that come from oversea,thinking they can take over with their “manliness”.Only when I bat my eyes do they pretend to be humanand even then, their disguise isn’t too convincing.I can always see a corkscrew tail peeking outor an upturned snorting snoutor an indisguisable hue of plump salmon trout.I help them by returning the beasts to their natural state,Just a wave of my wand andI follow a higher call,although I must say,some don’t need magic at all! 4. Athena Oh woman! To be a man!To have the power and strength of your father or any mortal man.Broad shoulders, sturdy arms and furrowed browsused as weapons to slaughter and take trophy of blood.But women have cunning and wisdom to own a man simply with a look,a gesture,a whispered word.Remember: only the unmarried woman has this magic,for husbands steals power without seeing it’s authority:like stripping a magician of his hat,without knowing how to pull out the rabbit!Because if he did recognize our power of mind,it would slay his own hulking Hercules kind.