Loreena McKennit imagines a deeper vision of Homer’s Penelope


Reviving Penelope’s Agency

Loreena McKennit provides a character study of Homer’s Penelope from the Odyssey in her Penelope’s Song. Her interpretation breathes life into a familiar female character from Greek Myth who is too often shrouded in darkness cast by Odysseus’s shadow. Through the authenticity of her performance and songwriting, McKennit invites her audience to give Penelope agency as an emotional being who feels deep love for her partner. Penelope chooses to stand by Odysseus in the face of a vast passage of time and at all costs. In McKennit’s song, Penelope says, “And in the night when are dreams are still/Or when the wind calls free/I’ll keep your heart with/Until You come to me.”

Gorgeous YouTube Video of Loreena McKennit performing Penelope’s Song live.

In the epic itself, Penelope remains faithful to Odysseus for 20 years as 108 potential new suitors attempt to lay claim to her hand in marriage after the Trojan War. She evades them by weaving and then unweaving a funeral shroud for Odysseus’ funeral (which never comes to pass), a task which Odysseus does not match up to.


Penelope’s SongMoth: “I gave you my life.”

Flame: “I allowed you to kiss me.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan
There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.

~ Mark Twain

Now that the time has come

Soon gone is the day

There upon some distant shore

You’ll hear me say

Long as the day in the summer time

Deep as the wine dark sea

I’ll keep your heart with mine

Till you come to me

There like a bird I’d fly

High through the air

Reaching for the sun’s full rays

Only to find you there

And in the night when our dreams are still

Or when the wind calls free

I’ll keep your heart with mine

Till you come to me

Now that the time has come

Soon gone is the day

There upon some distant shore

You’ll hear me say

Long as the day in the summer time

Deep as the wine dark sea

I’ll keep your heart with mine

Till you come to me

#Loreena McKennit
Selena Madden, PhDc

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