To A Poet Unborn

Achellis-n-Briseis

Looking over the nameless dead
Dust drinking the blood of all
I think of an unborn poet
Whose blind eye sees them fall
He’ll know their hearts and minds
And write a story for us all

He’ll give each man a name
And name family and friend
He’ll tell their passions
Then relate their gory end
He’ll speak of the wife and daughter
Who will no longer see their man
He will talk of fields untended
While the bodies rot in sand
Achaian or Trojan, it matters not
They all have the same loves and joys
And each side in a useless war
Throws them out like useless toys

Even though he
Favors the Achaian instead
This poet will talk tenderly of Hector
And those who mourn him dead
While he still fights below
To keep the enemy at bay
While he gives his own blood
So his wife and son can live another day

This poet will celebrate them all
From the field hands
To kings in tower
This poet from the future far
Will even remember poor Achilles
In his darkest hour

— — —

Years ago, while America was fighting two wars, I reread one of the most famous books about war, The Iliad.  Maybe because of the times, I don’t know, but I saw the story in a completely different light.  Read here for a lot more thoughts on my thoughts at the time.

At this time I was also composing contemporary classical music.  A thought struck me – why don’t I write a song cycle based on the Iliad, seen from the point of view of Achilleus?  I wrote the poems, but was side tracked and never wrote the songs.

Later I did do a “light progressive rock” version of the first poem in the cycle, Briseis: That was Yesterday.  Here is a link to the post of the video and here is the video itself:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

The poem at the top of page was written for the song cycle, but not included.  Perhaps it could have been put in at the beginning or end, outside of the cycle itself, but used as a punctuation point.  I’m not sure.  I most likely will never actually do anything with the song cycle, so I can offer it up instead, a tribute from Achilleus to the poet that would write about him, Homer.

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