Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Trojan War myth has always fascinated me as a colourful archetype. There is romance, adventure, travel, war, skill, hardship and eventual triumph for one side and defeat for the other. Of course, it is the fact that the war was ostensibly fought for the return of Menelaus' wife, Helen, that has proved so eternally fascinating. She has been visualised in many different ways down the centuries and millenia. Here she is in her most recent incarnation by the German actress, Diane Kruger (left).

Diane makes for a beautiful blonde Helen. The tradition mostly suggests that Helen was dark (like most people of the Mediterranean and Aegean areas), but it's certainly not impossible that she was a blonde (if she ever really existed at all!

I wrote a poem about the Trojan War.



THE MASK OF PRIAM (and its strange disappearance)

Not far from modern Istanbul, there lies
Upon the blue Aegean’s Western shore,
A place where ancient heroes’ battle cries
Resounded in a struggle for the whore
That we call Helen. Give me your breath
O Muse, that I might paint Troy’s savage death.

The modern hill of Hisalik was once
Home to Priam and his noble sons. Great
Illium mounted its ordained defence,
Despite the evil auguries of fate
And clear fault of Paris in his lust
For Helen (whom no man could ever trust.)

Agamemnon and his brother Kings,
(Outraged and set upon their swift revenge),
Sailed out from Greece as if with eagle wings
And each man seemed alone: without a friend.
Achaean ships at last crashed on the shore:
And men and Gods made ready for a war.

Achilles slew great Hector and at last
A ruse by wily Ulysses condemned
The Trojans to their own heroic past
And poets to their lays of Troy’s swift end.
The Greeks killed almost everyone they found
(Some sleeping in their beds) without a sound.

After the annihilation was complete
Great Agamemnon ordered that a mask
Be taken of dead Priam in defeat
And made from beaten gold: a simple task
Enough: yet though they finished it at noon,
The Mask of Priam vanished with the moon!

5 Comments:

Blogger pluto85 said...

Fscinating

5:20 AM  
Blogger pluto85 said...

Fscinating,aRI!

5:20 AM  
Blogger Jon Aristides said...

Thanks, Ely.

5:28 AM  
Blogger pluto85 said...

This poem has been haunting me all day!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Jon Aristides said...

So kind!

12:58 PM  

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