The Trojan War has finished its long course.
Achaeans won by sneaking past the vaulting walls
As if they were a gift: a wooden horse.
A decade done, at last the city falls!
And yet the riches found were not it all,
Along with war, there came a great  resource
Achilles’ n’ Agamemnon’s egos tall
Were humbled to the ground with mighty force.

The greatest hero and Achaean king
Saw limits to their sight and faced their error;
Their compromise, a wretched shineless thing,
Was their most brilliant and enlight’ning treasure.

Amidst life’s war, when warrior wills compete,
Just do your job and one day bitter’s sweet.


(Revised 6/19/2017)

Evan Mantyk is president of the Society and teaches history and literature in the Hudson Valley region of New York.



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2 Responses

  1. Bruce Dale Wise

    The octave in your The Trojan War uses a rhyme scheme, ababbaba, which has interesting possibilities, because it goes back upon itself. I also like your rhyme of error and treasure. The painter and the painting you have coupled with your poem I am unfamiliar with. I’ll have to do some Internet research.

  2. Bruce Dale Wise

    The Triumph of Achilles by Franz Matsch, 1892

    The Triumph of Achilles by Franz Matsch is found
    upon the upper hall of the Achilleon,
    a palace in Corfu. Dead Hector’s dragged around
    Troy in the panoramic fresco. Achilles, on
    his chariot, holds Hector’s helmet in his hand
    high up and out. This is the end of Ilion.
    In Matsch’s action shot, black horses lead the band
    of Greeks that follow, mostly on foot, though there are
    some charioteers. Bright Achilles, tall and grand,
    is the commanding figure; Hector, lean and bare,
    is, as the dirty mud Matsch draws him into, browned,
    at a right angle to Achilles, strong and fair.


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