Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Book 4

We start off with a council of the gods.  If you don’t find that delightful, I swear there’s no hope for you…

At any rate, I liked it quite a bit, and it builds nice and slowly and to my mind reaches its climax with these spectacular lines:

“As when the sea’s swell keeps pounding against the shore,
wave after wave, hard driven before the west wind –
far out, it rises into a crest, then it breaks
on the land with a thundering roar, and around the headlands
it arches and comes to a peak and spits out the salt foam:
just so, on that day, did the Argive battalions move,
row after row, unceasingly, into battle.”
(4.393-399)

There are more lines to the poem, and from line 428 until the end we get the names of the killed, who killed them, and how they were killed.  While it’s a lot better than Book 2’s The Catalogue of Ships, there is certainly a degree of repetitiveness.

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