1,196

It all began with The Song of Achilles, recommended by a blogger on this very platform. Then it was Circe, by the same author, Madeline Miller. Before long, I went on to read The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson, which Madeline Miller recommended on one of her many interviews I watched on YouTube. After the Odyssey heightened my appetite for more Greek mythology, I got in touch with my English Professor, and asked for her advise on which translation of the Iliad she would recommend I get. She gladly suggested three names, among them Robert Fagles. I ended up getting three books translated by him: The Iliad (Homer), The Odyssey (Homer), and The Aeneid (Virgil). I have been on a roll since then and last night, I wrote a poem about some of Homer’s characters. It is still in progress, but I wanted to share what I have so far. Take a look!

1,196 warships came sailing down to Troy,
doom roared in the form of the long-haired Achaeans,
sweet Hector, son of Priam,
what chance did you have over swift-foot Achilles?
the son of Peleus, was born for this very moment –
raging Achilles was born for war.

1,196 black ships came sailing down to Troy,
death descended to the Trojans in the form of beautiful Helen,
Paris, oh lithe Paris, why tempt fate?
Agamemnon, son of Atreus, brings your demise –
the lord of men brings ruin to Troy.

1,196 sleek ships came sailing down to Troy,
even Apollo, the great archer wouldn’t save you
nor would the great stone walls protect you,
imminent destruction was upon Troy –
why, Mighty Zeus, the king of gods willed it.

Msdedeng

Published by Msdedeng

Most importantly, I am a daughter, a wife, and a friend. I am also a student who still has lots to learn.

66 thoughts on “1,196

  1. Greek mythology. What a great place for history, great stories, and lessons. I’ve heard so many good things about Circe by Madeline Miller recently. Guess I need to read that soon. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how your mind works. So much fun seeing you move from one book recommendation to an entire anthology. I have read The Iliad and The Odyssey, and loved them both. If you want to go one step further … read The Penelopiad by Margarete Atwood. Here is a brief synopsis:

    Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumors, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters, and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors andβ€”curiouslyβ€”twelve of her maids.

    Atwood looks at the Odyssey from a totally new perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Exactly. Teachers are special beings, honestly. Not all of them though, but there are some really special ones we carry in our memories wherever we go. I bet you fall in the special category. Have a wonderful day, Michele.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww, Rosie, thank you so much for sharing this quote. Wasn’t he a Greek philosopher? I have been thinking of Socrates lately, and flirting with the idea of reading his works. Hmm, not sure i have the brains for it though, but this just reinforced that. I hope you are happy and enjoying the gift of life. Hugs my friend. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Cheryl, how lucky you were! I wish I had encountered Greek mythology ages ago, but that’s the beauty of life, we learn till the day we stop breathing. Thank you for your lovely comment, and you just reminded me to get back at it. Haha

    Like

  6. Thank you! I am certain most of my students did not feel so lucky having to read, research, and write about Homer’s Odyssey, but at least they are informed. 🌊 βš“ βš” πŸ›‘ πŸ§”πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Angela, there is a beautiful and true quote that has been hanging on my bulletin board for a long time:
    “Walking is man’s best medicine” (Hippocrates of Kos (460 – about 377 BC))
    Angela, I wish you all te best…
    Rosie 🌷🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful, Angela!

    In common with the original work that inspired them, your verses are sweeping, and are of the grandest, most epic scale. Yet they retain the fleetness to thrill and the lyricism to enthrall.

    Homer and his band are immortal because of talent like yours. Their writing has survived the millennia because you nurture it. Your own poetry effects similar care, and thus you bestow your gift for the ages.

    Now, let’s put that sculptor to work on your statue…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. always Angela, and if not I am the only one to blame! Raining here but love being in my cosy forever home … gives me more time to meditate πŸ™‚
    are you ok?

    Like

  10. I like your book idea for a birthday present, instead of the “usual” type of present. It’s exactly what my husband and I do, and we are trying to extend it to family members too, although his dad’s present for whatever occasion, is always a book from the rest of us. πŸ™‚

    Like

  11. I actually read to my son until he left for college. Sometimes he’d read to me. When he read books in school sometimes I’d read it too, so we could discuss them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is excellent! I love an epic poem!

    I’ve added the Robert Fagles translations to my reading list πŸ™‚ just now, I’m really enjoying a new translation of Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley – it sounds like it might be something you could enjoy too. Xx

    Like

  13. a great outlook … and I choose to follow my passions as a lot of the ancient stuff is spellbinding if it comes to life when you visit. If it doesn’t I walk away, can’t fake interest just to seem intellectual πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aww, thank you. It’s funny you say you read to your son some mythology. Madeline Miller’s mother read to her Greek mythology at the age of five, and she went on to learn both Greek and Latin, and has written two wonderful books. It all begins at home, with a parent like yourself reading to their child. You did good.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great poem. I’ve never read those books. When my son was young I read many varied books of myths to him but never got into the more extended literature. I admire your thirst for literature.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You have? Oh, I am so jealous. I know I will someday.
    Passion is a funny thing, everyone develops a different one which makes sense actually. Imagine if we all loved the same thing, and all the rest was left undiscovered, unloved?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love everything you have written! We share the love of books, walking, reading, classics, and writing.

    ..I admire your aim to get a degree, so rewarding, it makes us realise how little we know

    Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. impressive Angela, so many amazing characters but none could save Troy 😦

    I’ve been to many of those places in Greece but have never developed your passion … Paul from Parallax is into all that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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