5th century BC Greek pottery depicting a sacrifice (British Museum)‘A Happy 80th Birthday Wish’ by Evan Mantyk The Society August 1, 2022 Beauty, Culture, Poetry, Readings 20 Comments . https://classicalpoets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/80th-birthday-poem.mp3 . A Happy 80th Birthday Wish for the Poet’s Father I wish for you the golden years Odysseus had Retired from life’s long strife, a sort of Trojan War: The births and deaths were bloody fights, some good, some bad; And there were far-flung journeys bringing more Adventures than you ever thought could be in store. I wish for you his splendid feast with roasted meat And wine, and sacrificial wafts of smoke that soar Up to the Father of the Gods’s sandaled feet. The barbecue with friends and games is made complete When He and Hera send their smiles down to us And Muses of the Arts come dancing to the beat Of soothing sunlit symphonies so sonorous, Resounding to the cloud-veiled future’s distant land. I lift my cup to you and wish to shake your hand. . . Evan Mantyk teaches literature and history in New York and is President of the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 20 Responses Sally Cook August 1, 2022 Dear Evan, Congratulations to your father for his long and varied life, which includes having a son like you ! Reply Evan Mantyk August 1, 2022 Thank you, Sally! I am in part inspired by your moving poetry about parents. Reply Damian Robin August 1, 2022 Happy Birthday to your dad, Evan. He sounds like a good one – if you respect him so. So he will not mind the off-beat in lines 10 and 12. Maybe you could go for “The barbecue with friends and games is made complete When He and Hera send their smilings down to us And Muses of the Arts come dancing to the beat Of sunlit symphonies so rich and sonorous, Resounding to the cloud-veiled future’s distant land.” I like the diminution of the Odysseus’ feast to an earthly barbecue augmented by the Muses’ dancing to future celestial music. Reply Evan Mantyk August 1, 2022 Thank you, Damian. It is probably a good thing that I recorded it then. The pronunciations are key here: “smiles” is pronounced “smigh-yulls” and the alliteration leads to the over-accented SO in line 12. But maybe this latter point isn’t so strong. I’ve fixed it I think. Reply Damian Robin August 2, 2022 Thank you, Evan, I did make my reply before I noticed the recording. Nicely read and it does make the scansion clear. James Sale August 1, 2022 A moving and very classical tribute to your dad, Evan – well done, like it lots! Reply Michael C Maibach August 1, 2022 I agree with James. Well written Evan! Michael Reply Cynthia Erlandson August 1, 2022 What a beautiful way to honor your father! Paul and I were honored to meet him, and wouldn’t have guessed him to be 80! Your imagery describing the feast is very well done. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 1, 2022 Here’s wishing your father a wonderful 80th year and many more beautiful years ahead! What a wonderful gift from his talented son. I especially like these delicious lines: I wish for you his splendid feast with roasted meat And wine, and sacrificial wafts of smoke that soar Up to the Father of the Gods’s sandaled feet. Thank you for sharing this lovingly wrought tribute to your dad. I love it! Reply Brian Yapko August 1, 2022 Evan, there can be no more meaningful gift than this offering of your considerable talent and heart. This Spenserian sonnet is deeply moving and bespeaks both great respect and affection. Both you and your father are very blessed. A hearty happy 80th birthday to him! Reply Yael August 1, 2022 That’s a lovely and inspiring birthday poem and a gift that would make every dad proud. Happy birthday! Reply Roy E. Peterson August 1, 2022 Impressive tribute to your father who no doubt is proud of what his son does and has become. I join the others in wishing both a Happy Birthday to him and a thank you to him for having such a distinguished son. I particularly love the alliteration of lines 7 and 12, almost like a matching set. I lift my cup in salute to both you and your father on his special occasion. Reply Joseph S. Salemi August 1, 2022 May God’s blessings of long life and health be steady for your father, Evan. Not to mention a loving son like you. Reply Paul Freeman August 2, 2022 A happy birthday indeed – and what a present you’ve given him in your poem. Reply Evan Mantyk August 2, 2022 Thank you all for your generous comments! Reply Margaret Coats August 2, 2022 Pater optime valeat, laetus mente causa scripturae adsiduae et diligentis filii. I follow Cicero calling a literary work “an attentive and loving scripture.” May your father feel especially strong and happy because of this one of yours, Evan. Reply Morrison Handley-Schachler August 2, 2022 A Happy Birthday to your father, Evan! Beautiful classical poem. Reply Norma Pain August 2, 2022 Dear Evan, wishing your father a very happy 80th birthday. Reply Jeff Eardley August 2, 2022 Evan, a lovely tribute to your very special father. Reply James A. Tweedie August 3, 2022 When I was young I used to think that 80-year-olds were so old that they may well have been contemporaneous with the likes of Odysseus. Now that I am older, eighty years seems like yesterday! Time, like you and your father, is “relative.” Congratulations to your father for his good, long life, and to you for having had the good fortune to be his son. 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