Skip to content

The Hero’s Journey (Wherever I May Roam)

Rover, Wanderer

…And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

…And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave
Rover, wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

Metallica – Wherever I May Roam

Contender Ready

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy.

He saw the townlands
and learned the minds of many distant men,
and weathered many bitter nights and days
in his deep heart at sea, while he fought only
to save his life, to bring his shipmates home.
But not by will nor valor could he save them,
for their own recklessness destroyed them all –
children and fools, they killed and feasted on
the cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun,
and he who moves all days through heaven
took from their eyes the dawn of their return.

Of these adventures, Muse, daughter of Zeus,
tell us in our time, lift the great song again.

Homer’s Odyssey – Robert Fitzgerald translation

Twists of Fate

Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.

Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds,
many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,
fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.

But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove –
the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all,
the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sun
and the Sungod wiped from sight the day of their return.

Homer’s Odyssey – Robert Fagles translation

Escape Artist

The man for wisdom’s various arts renown’d,
Long exercised in woes, O Muse! resound;
Who, when his arms had wrought the destined fall
Of sacred Troy, and razed her heaven-built wall,
Wandering from clime to clime, observant stray’d,
Their manners noted, and their states survey’d,
On stormy seas unnumber’d toils he bore,
Safe with his friends to gain his natal shore:
Vain toils! their impious folly dared to prey
On herds devoted to the god of day;
The god vindictive doom’d them never more
(Ah, men unbless’d!) to touch that natal shore.

Oh, snatch some portion of these acts from fate,
Celestial Muse! and to our world relate.

Homer’s Odyssey – Alexander Pope translation

See Also

The man / That prudent hero / The man for wisdom’s various arts renown’d / the man… for shrewdness famed and genius versatile / the crafty man / the man full of resources / that all-experienced Man / that hero wandering / the travelled man of many a turn / the many-sided-man / that deep man, who wander’d much / that sagacious man / the man with much resource / the man skilled in expedients / that man, so ready at need / the hero versatile / The Hero of craft-renown / the adventurous man / the Shifty, the man who wandered afar / that ingenious hero / the man so wary and wise / the man of many devices / the Restless man / that Great Traveller / that clever hero / that man of many changes / the one who was never at a loss / the hero fated to roam / the man of many ways / the man of wide-ranging spirit / the man of many wiles / the cunning hero / that endlessly cunning man.

A Complicated Man, and Lost

Tell me about a complicated man.
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered on the sea, and how he worked
to save his life and bring his men back home.
He failed, and for their own mistakes, they died.
They ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god
kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.

Find the beginning.

Homer’s Odyssey – Emily Wilson translation

Nomad, Vagabond

…And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I’ve grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no one

…And my ties are severed clean
The less I have, the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign
Rover, wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I’ll take my time anywhere
I’m free to speak my mind anywhere
And I’ll never mind anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home


I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...