Showing posts from March 11, 2007

Flags for Achilles


The very first two lines of the Iliad read:

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκεν,

Rage—sing, goddess, the rage of Achilles, the son of Peleus,
the destructive rage that brought countless griefs upon the Achaeans...

Achilles is the only mortal to experience consuming rage (menis). His anger is, at times wavering, at others, absolute. The humanization of Achilles by the events of the war is an important theme of the story.

O! Handsome warrior! Great fleeting Achilles! Your death, where water touched you not, resounds in this, our flag-flooded globe.

Who can fly their banner higher? March in more an eloquent step? Harmonize more superbly the sacrosanct song?

O! Thetis! Had you but anointed your child in a sea of flags and not the river Styx...

© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman

The Funny Side of Troy