on 23 December 2014
For me, this is the only translation, apart from Aexander Pope's, that tries to make real poetry of Homer. Like Pope he uses all the resources of contemporary verse to match Homer where he can. He doesn't always suceed, but even his failures should be instructive to other translators. The visit to the world of the dead in Book 11 is a triumph: mysterious, sorrowful and succinct. His translations of Homer's "standard phrases" are another example of his craft. "Odysseus, master of landways and seaways", "the salt immortal sea", "the sun went down and all the ways grew dark" are some that stay with me.
Fagles and Lombardo are excellent journeymen, but Fitzgereald is a master.
If you haven't yet read the Odyssey I almost envy you. It's one the greatest things ever written and this translation is an open door to its treasures.