Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday, plus good news

First the good news: I just found out I will be teaching in the fall, a course called Revenge, Justice, & Civilization: The Trojan War & the Classical Tradition, which was honestly my favorite of the three proposals that I put together. I am very excited, and very nervous, and very very wound up right now.

So, with the Trojan War as our theme, here's an excerpt from Christopher Logue's All Day Permanent Red, his reinterpretation of the battle scenes from Homer's Iliad.


Silence and light

   The earth
And its attendant moon
(Neither of great importance
But beautiful and dignified)
Making their way around the sun.

  Bread trucks have begun to stream
across the vast plateau,
fair skies, high cumulous cloud --
the birds are in full throat
as the sun lights up the east.
   Who is it sees
Set in the north Agean sea, their coasts
Nosegays of seaweed tossing Ida's snow,
The Isles of Imbros and Samothrace?
   And over there -- grapes ghosts and vocal grottoes --
Greece. Above it Macedon,
Its wooded folds declining til they meet
Those of Carpathia and Kagan Gorge,
Through which, fed by a hundred tributaries since
It crossed the northern instep of the Alps,
The Danuge reappears.
   Eyes to Italy
(Where squirrels go from coast to coast and never touch the ground)
Then up, over her cyclorama peaks
Whose snow became before the fire before the wheele, the Rhine,
Below whose estuaries beneath an endless sky,
Sand baars and sabre grass, salt flats and travelling dunes
Lead west, until, green in their shallow sea
That falls away into the Atlantic deeps
He sees the Islands of the West.
   He who? Why, God, of course.
Who sighs before He looks
Back to the ridge that is, save for a million footprints,
Empty now.


Nora said...

Ok, not the most optimistic or cheery of poems. But it's the Trojan War. What do you expect?

Trixie said...

NORA!!!!!!! YAY! Ms. Sawyer, moving on up in the world!!!! I am so happy for you, you smart cookie you! (Better you than me with all that heady stuff!! How will you keep it straight?? I don't know how, but you are such a whiz at all that stuff!!!!) You are so awesome! So many exclamation points! I knew you'd do it. YAY!