The body broken by alcohol

Reading The Iliad and The Odyssey, it’s easy to get the idea that Homer might have been a bit of a lush, based on how adoringly he writes about booze. Throughout both texts, he repeatedly describes the sea as being “wine-dark.” To a random swineherd, Odysseus says, “It is the wine that leads me on, the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool.” Wine is poured onto the pyres of the war dead; it saves Odysseus from the Cyclops. …

Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf. He was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University.

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