Ike Whitman Miller


On the Naming of an Automobile

A thing that I will never get:
Why Honda named their SUV
After a homeward trip beset
By hardship—yes, the Odyssey.

Odysseus departs his job.
“Let’s all go home,” he says with glee,
But sirens sing and bandits rob
And half his men are lost at sea.

The other half soon die as well
And all his ships sink one by one.
Oh, one more thing that I should tell:
His neighbors try to kill his son.

A cyclops traps him for a while;
Each lotus-eater… lotus-eats.
Calypso keeps him on her isle,
So on Penelope he cheats.

An ancient tale of modern fears:
That our commutes, already far,
Could somehow last for ten whole years.
And THAT’S what Honda named their car!

(The guy who names the cars for them
Does not appear to be a smarty.
When asked what’s next, he did not hem
Or haw: “The Honda Donner Party!”)

Ike Whitman Miller was born in Portland, Oregon and educated at the University of Oregon and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. He has won several games of chance, a Fulbright grant, and the Oxford University Mountaineering Club’s Bravery Award. He lives within walking distance of several nice restaurants with his fiancée and their cat.