Sunday, November 5, 2023

The War to Extend All Wars

Because you birthed that crazy
Daughter, because you are the
Parent of this deadly child,

War complains to Father Zeus
In Wilson’s new translation,
Of the Iliad, asking,

As all the gods are asking,
Help in counterbalancing
The acts of the other gods.

If there’s an unintended
Message in that massive poem
Of back-and-forth gore, it’s that

Balance enhances bloodshed,
That equally matched forces
Are horror multipliers.

With Strategy on one side,
Flashing her commanding eyes,
And Havoc on the other,

Each pleading with their father
That it’s unfair to support
The sister or the brother,

Carnage can be maximized
And suffering extended.
Or maybe the poet meant

That message--if you can’t be
Victorious instantly,
Pray for the swiftest defeat.

In the high country each fall,
Bucks with the worst injuries
Met the most evenly matched.

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