Exhibits in the ‘The Odyssey’ Gallery

Book I

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

At the insistence of Robert Kelly, i studied Greek at Bard College between 1964 – 66, and produced this version of Book VI of the Odyssey for the final project of my Homer class taught by Michael Minihan. It appeared in a special translation edition of “The Seneca Review” edited by Anselm Hollo in 1972.

in 1974, Anselm guest edited a “translation” supplement that contains this poem written at the same time as Book VI was in progress


Book IX

Book X

Book X (The Mind of the Dark Lord’s Lady)

Book XI

Book XII

I’ve seen this face before.
It was in thirteenth century Provence,
or on the way back
from bleeding in Jerusalem
or at the entrance of a peculiar little theater
down some lonesome alley
or whapped on DMT—a brazillion of such faces
coursing through my blood
Leonardo Da Vinci was trying to re-route the Arno
to the advantage of Florence
it was that scheme he and Macchiaveli concocted
it had nothing to do with Calypso
or any other drum beat
I left my heart
just where it was
it didn’t help
so what if the shrapnel detonates
across symmetrical spaces
so what if webs of unnameable chromatisms
integument subspace
the elephants will not return to their immemorial burial grounds
the worlds for which their intentions are responsible
will not be renewed
I am so old
I can’t remember that word for mother-of-pearl
I used to try to sneak into poetry
nacreous, yes nacreous
so what if the background is nacreous
and the sweetest luminescence
is possessed of an occult swirling
strophalingos is greek for that kind of angular purturbation
that suspends Nature (physis)
from Great Hekate
on the left side of her womb
a hollow full of lumpy gruel
gushes abundantly
it is the primordial fount of psychic fluid
while on the right
her hymen remains intact
the Oracles say
and it ain’t symmetrical

Charles Stein
Barrytown, NY


Lampetie, the daughter of Helios, who snitches on the companions when they slaughter the cattle, together with her sisters Phaethusa, mentioned here, and a third one, Aigle, who will be a mistress of Apollo–are the Heliades who accompany Parmenides and lead his horses to the gates beyond the paths of day and night. Their mother is Neaira, “the New,” as in New Moon, as Kerenyi says–so these girls are the daughters of the Sun and Moon, clearly of proto-alchemical provenance, and to be distinguished from their three half-sisters, Medea, Hekate, and Circe, with a different mother, sorcerreses all.


During the time the images above were being made, Charles Stein was working on his own translation of Homer’s epic. It was published by North Atlantic Books in 2008, and this is its Amazon page.

Nausicaa — with one eye closed (11/2007)

The Girdle of Parataxis (08/2008)

Theseus in the Bardo (03/2008)

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