Maybe it’s the ability to take Odysseus’ story and adapt it/apply it to different settings. You’ve got Big Fish and O Brother, Where Art Thou? among other modern retellings. And Homer’s appearance in Wings of Desire is one of the many reasons I love that movie.
Atwood’s poem takes the reader inside one of the monsters Odysseys encounters. Not surprising, given her novel The Penelopiad. Which all fit into my affinity for retellings of myths and classic stories. I’m very pleased that the Penelopiad link above let me know about a series of books I didn’t know existed. Kindle samples are winging their way to me now.