"The Wrath of Achilles," Michel Drolling, 1819, Wikipedia photo.
“The Wrath of Achilles,” Michel Drolling, 1819, Wikipedia photo.

On this winter-threatened night when the sea
Is heaving wild, and foam is flying on the shore,
I turn to Clark’s copy of Iliad of Homer to explore
Depths of verse and rhyme, and translations of
Old masters, Chapman, Pope, and Bryant, whose
Crimsoned words released stanzas of poetic fire.

My fleece bathrobe girds me armor-like and coffee
Is ambrosia, a few cookies votive offerings, as I
Turn brittle pages of 19th century Greek-course in
English, the print small, concepts ever daunting,
To grasp thoughts of the ancients, deciphering
To understanding, O! Achilles vicious wrath.

Tonight I hammer words, a blacksmith tamping
Glowing iron, a few lines gives initial shape, full
Stanza defines storied plights. Thus, forgive me,
Mathew Arnold, for my nascent efforts this wind-
Swept evening, to strive for which you did so well,
To revel poetically in Homer’s venerable verse.

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