‘I’m weary lying here among distant peoples, places,in sickness now thoughts come to me, of what’s not here.’
— Ovid, Tristia, III.3.13-14
How does it feel to be a foreigner? Can you choose where you call home? What if you reject your home or your home rejects you? Homesickness and Exile is a fascinating collection of poems about the fundamental human need to belong to a place, as poets from across the world provide profound and moving insights into the emotional pull of countries and cities. Poems about homecoming, departure and both voluntary and involuntary exile provoke reflections on alienation and identity, and a recurring theme is the yearning for a sense of belonging and acceptance by a place.
This anthology is inspired by the Tristia, a collection of poems written by the Roman poet Ovid after he was banished from Rome by the Emperor for an unknown misdemeanour. Homesickness and Exile expands on Ovid’s themes and considers spiritual as well as physical exile in the modern world, with poets writing about rootlessness and geographical ennui.