Thursday, February 22, 2018

DAWN


Dawn shines bright. North Hill of Puyallup, Washington.

Monday, February 19, 2018

"SPATTERED with GORE"



"Pylos Combat Agate," carved agate seal, circa 1450 B.C. Found near the palace of Nestor, king of Pylos, who appears in The Iliad.

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"...his invincible hands spattered with gore."

—the final line of Book 20 of The Iliad by Homer, translated by Caroline Alexander

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As I've been reading Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books seventeen through twenty.

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BOOK 17

Fighting over the body of Patroclus. Apollo goads Trojans. Athena goads Greeks. Antilochos runs to Achilles.

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BOOK 18

Nereids mourn. Achilles aegis-clad. Clarion voice. Patroclus retrieved. Mourning rites. Armor by Hephaestus.

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BOOK 19

Achilles rallies Greeks. Eat or battle? Gifts, reparations. Athena: ambrosia. Achilles arms. Xanthos speaks.

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BOOK 20

Gods @ war. Achilles vs Aeneas. Poseidon saves Aeneas. Achilles vs Hector. Apollo saves Hector. Demonic fire.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

SHIPS on FIRE



"Trireme," sketch, by unknown artist.

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"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

the final words of Roy Batty to Rick Deckard in the film Blade Runner

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As I've been reading Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books thirteen through sixteen.

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BOOK 13

Poseidon as Calchas rallies the Achaeans. Battle ranks. "They fought like blazing fire." Words of war abound.

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BOOK 14

Odysseus rebukes Agamemnon. Hera tempts and tricks Zeus. Earth-Shaker turns the tide. Vaunting and death.

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BOOK 15

Zeus speaks what will happen. Assignments for Iris, Apollo. Apollo and Hector lead. Fighting for the ships.

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BOOK 16

Patroclus implores Achilles. Ships on fire. Patroclus dons Achilles' armor. Sarpedon dies. Patroclus dies.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

≠ "AND THE BLOOD CEASED TO FLOW"



"Grave stele of Hoplite Battle Scene," marble, circa 390 B.C. Public domain, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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"And the wound dried up, and the blood ceased to flow."

—the final line of Book 11 of The Iliad by Homer, translated by Caroline Alexander

(If only...)

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As I've been reading Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books nine through twelve.

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BOOK 9

Diomedes speaks. Nestor speaks. Embassy from Agamemnon to Achilles. Meal. Phoinix speaks. Further fueled rage.

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BOOK 10

Brothers Atreus rouse the watches. Athena "faves" Diomedes and Odysseus wander into Trojan camp. Dolon. Dead!

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BOOK 11

Armor. "Men killing and men being killed." Struck: Agamemnon, Diomedes, Odysseus. Nestor's war story. Herbs.

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BOOK 12

Storm of the gods against the sea wall. Testing the trench. Eagle and snake. Hector breaches the Greek gates.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

CROCUSES



Diaphanous. My yard is filled with crocuses enjoying some middle-of-winter sunshine.

BATTLEFIELDS



"Bronze helmet of Corinthian type," bronze, circa 650–600 B.C. Public domain, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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As I've been reading Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books five through eight.

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BOOK 5

Athena and Diomedes. War fury. Diomedes slaughters many, strikes Aphrodite, attacks Apollo, wounds Ares.

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BOOK 6

Appeasing Athena in the house of Priam. Guest friends Diomedes and Glaukos. Bellerephon vs. Chimaira.

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BOOK 7

1 on 1: Ajax vs. Hector. "Yield to night." "Illustrious gifts." Truce for clearing the dead. Wine from Euneos.

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BOOK 8

War resumes. Defending the ships. Slaughtering named Trojans. Stopping Teucer's bow. Athena vs. Zeus.

Monday, February 05, 2018

ILIADS



Left to right: Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad by Alice Oswald; The Iliad by Homer, translated by Caroline Alexander; War Music: An Account of Homer's Iliad by Christopher Logue.

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My reading of The Iliad is much slower than that of The Odyssey. But that is primarily due to me reading through three different texts. Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad is the anchor text, with forays into Memorial and (now that it has arrived) War Music—both poetic renderings that take liberties with Homer's words.

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War Music is the most intriguing of the three to me right now, but that is primarily due to its newness, since I've read Memorial multiple times and The Iliad in other translations, as well as its difference.

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War Music (2016) collects the various volumes of Iliad-related poetry that Christopher Logue published as part of a lifelong project—Kings: An Account of Books 1 and 2 of Homer's Iliad (1991); The Husbands: An Account of Books 3 and 4 of Homer's Iliad (1995); All Day Permanent Red (2003, Books 5 and 6); Cold Calls (2005, Books 7, 8, and 9); War Music (1981, which itself collected Patrocleia, 1962, Book 16; GBH, 1981, Books 17 and 18; and Pax, 1969, Book 19); and various fragments of Books 10-24 that would have eventually been published as Big Men Falling a Long Way, if Mr. Logue had not fallen extremely ill and died a few years later. Those fragments also include the untitled poem based on Book 21 that started all of this with its publication in 1959.

I'm glad to have all of these Homeric musings in one volume!

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Now to read!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

SPARK that STARTS



"Helen of Troy," oil on panel, 1863, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

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As I've been reading Caroline Alexander's translation of The Iliad, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books one through four.

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BOOK 1

Agamemnon and Achilles in conflict. Women as war chattel. Council of the gods at the request of Thetis (Mom).

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BOOK 2

Zeus sends Dream. Speeches and more speeches. A genealogy of ships, armies, leaders, locations. War machines!

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BOOK 3

Trojans and Achaeans face one another. Paris and Menelaos battle for Helen's hand. Aphrodite intervenes.

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BOOK 4

Athena sparks war. Blood of Menelaos. Ares and Athena push men forward into battle. The deaths begin.

Friday, February 02, 2018

OGYGIA



"Ogygia" is the seventh member of The Grand Armada (of the "Inktopodes.") Like, "Merian" before her, she was created as a portfolio piece for upcoming shows.

Ogygia is named for the isle of Calypso as encountered in Book 5 of The Odyssey. Her look is inspired by the vegetation of the island (citrus, celery, cypress, violet-filled meadow) and the sea that laps at the shore (her arms). It is also inspired by the god Hermes, who is sent to tell Calypso to release Odysseus from his seven-year captivity on the island. The mantle of this Inktopod echoes the winged cap/helmet of Hermes in shape, as well as in the tree "feathers" that adorn it.

Ogygia is watercolor ink, India ink, gouache, and pigment-based iridescent calligraphy ink on 8" x 10" watercolor paper.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

FANBOY



Over in the Twitterverse, I received an unsolicited tweet reply from Emily Wilson, whose translation of The Odyssey I just finished. Sometimes the internet can be a beautiful place. Not often, but just enough.



troysworktable @troysworktable
As I've been reading Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey, I've posted a brief synopsis of each book I complete on Twitter. Here are my collected Twitter synopses of books nineteen through twenty-four...

Emily Wilson @EmilyRCWilson
NB there are synopses in the actual book too.

[I love her nota bene.]

troysworktable @troysworktable
Now that I've finished the poem proper, I'll go back and read the synopses and notes. I wanted to see what 140 characters (or less) synopses of each book would entail (for me).



troysworktable @troysworktable
BTW, thank you so much for your translation. It is a splendid read. I loved the cadence and rhythm that you injected into the tale. A handful of times I checked your translation against Fagles just to see the differences. I prefer the directness of yours.

Emily Wilson @EmilyRCWilson
Fagles adds a lot!



[The literary "fanboy" in me swoons!]