The story starts off on Ogygia. Hermes brings a message from the gods that Calypso has to release Odysseus.
“Oh, forlorn man, stop your tears. I am ready to let you go.”
He swims to the island of Scheria and tells his story to the King and Queen of the Phaeacians.
“Now I will tell you of the misfortunes that Zeus has sent me during my long voyage home from Troy.”
Odysseus and his men escape Troy after being attacked by the Cicones. They go to the land of the Lotus Eaters, where some of Odysseus’ men eat the fruit.
“I was dismayed, and I had to drag them forcibly back to the ships, ordering my other men to tie them beneath the benches and row quickly away.”
They find an island and explore a cave near the shore. His men want to steal the cheese and return swiftly to the ship. Odysseus was curious to meet the owner of the cave and see if he would offer his hospitality. The owner of the cave is a cyclops and traps them in a cave.
“After devouring two of my men, the cyclops lay down to sleep. He did not fear us, for even if we could kill him, we could not possibly move that giant stone. We were trapped.”
Odysseus and his crew manage to escape the cyclops by blinding him, but Odysseus reveals his name and brags. With this information, the cyclops prays to Poseidon that Odysseus returns to his home late.
“Let him never reach his home, or if the other gods decree that he must, let him come late, after long suffering, with all of his comrades dead, and let him find trouble waiting for him at home!”
They find the island of Aeolia and meet King Aeolus. As they depart, the king gives him a gift. He captured the winds and bound them up in a bag, but left the west wind free to blow them straight on their course to home. His men open the bag out of curiosity.
"The winds battered our ship and blew us, wailing, back from our home, all the way back across the sea to Aeolia.”