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Motivated Monday – The Story of Ulysses, Hero of Greece

Have you ever thought to yourself that it is too late to start something new? Do you ever think you are told old to do something you’ve always dreamed of or start a new adventure? I am excited today because I get to share another one of my favorite poems.

Today I am going to share excerpts from the poem, Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

So here’s the background story: Odysseus (whose name is Ulysses in Latin) was one of the heroes of the Trojan War. When returning to his home island of Ithaca, he does some stuff to really tick off Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea. Poseidon causes Odysseus and his ship to lose their way and they have to pass through a number of epic battles against mythical creatures in order to return to their homeland.

When King Odysseus gets home, he finds a bunch of guys staying at his house trying to marry his wife because they think he is dead and never coming back. Odysseus eventually kills all of these suitors and regains his throne. This whole story is captured in Homer’s The Odyssey.

Tennyson’s poem takes place many years later when all has been peaceful for a long time. Odysseus is getting bored just sitting around being king, passing out judgments to his people day in and day out. He longs for the adventures he experienced in the past. So he gathers his old crew together from the past voyage and essentially tells them, “Friends, even though time has taken much from us, there is a lot left for us to do. I don’t want to sit around and rust like a tool that is never used. I want relive those days of glory and die doing something great.”

Sometimes we feel like we may be to old to start something new. Or that we just don’t have the energy to participate in the adventures of life. I would echo the words of Odysseus when I say, “Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”


Below are some of my favorite lines from the amazing poem, “Ulysses”.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark, broad seas.

My mariners, Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—

Death closes all: but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Come, my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, until I die.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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