Madeline Miller (Song of Achilles) led me to read Mark Merlis (An Arrow’s Flight) which led me to Sophocles Philoctetes where I came across the beginning of an incantation:
Caverns and headlands, dens of wild creatures
you jutting broken crags, to you I raise my cry —
which reminded me of Prospero’s speech in Act V of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (“Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and graves […]”).
The Shakespearean reminder in the Ancient Greek play seems odd until one discovers that the translator, David Grene, also authored Reality and the Heroic Pattern: Last Plays of Ibsen, Skakespeare, and Sophocles. Grene doesn’t offer any direct comparisons between the plays. However it is in reading the separate pieces on each of the plays that the obvious strikes me: both Prospero and Philoctetes are leaving islands. And it is but a hop in the intertextual sea to find this passage from Ursula K. Le Guin The Farthest Shore where in a fictional universe depicting a whole archipelago, the narrator at one point in the action makes this global remark:
So when one stands in a cherished place for the last time before a voyage without return, he sees it all whole, and real, and dear, as he has never seen it before and never will see it again.
And some who so stand are moved to poetry and animate the land with spirit.
And so for day 812