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GO THERE, BE THERE, LIVE IT. That’s the task. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. As storytellers, if we want our listeners to be compelled by the strength and power of what we are telling, we have to walk its path. We have to make the journey, no matter how difficult. We have to have the story real.

With The Iliad that’s a particular challenge. There’s not a one of us performing June 14 who has ever actually been in a battle. We’ve heard the talk, we’ve read the books, we’ve seen the movies but we’ve never felt the adrenalin rush that comes with fighting, never known the terrors,  the intensity of emotion, the comradeship, the fury, the numbness that may fall. Not on any actual battlefield.

We’ve had to face this squarely and we’ve had to find a way. That way was unexpected. That way had nothing to do with conjuring the clash of weapons, yelling, shouting, seeking fierceness of intent. That way had to do with quiet. It had to do with Homer as we should have known it would.

It came through visualization, not of battles, but of men—men camped out at night as Homer describes them, the light of their cooking fires as many as the stars which dance within the heavens in the clearest of clear times. Men, as Homer dreamed them—each one an individual, each one with his own place.

We know them now—those who have fought one day and will fight again tomorrow. They are within us. Before we were prepared, now truly we are ready. We can promise you a day to stir the soul.

As I begin to write about the final set, I realize how odd that must seem to people who are visiting “Blogging The Iliad” for the first time. For that, I send apologies. All I can do really is to note that the post is part of a process. Starting at the beginning is not so mysterious. You just have to scroll down to the entry for April 28, entitled One Great Epic Evoked Anew

Here we go then--last set.

Priam and Achilles: Tom Lips

Book 24


Memories crowding, hot tears flowing down

cries to the gods, are they so hard-hearted?

ransom immense

messenger of hope


Those who dwell upon Olympus send their messengers. They would assist an old man in his anguish. They would guide him on a journey through the night. There are wrongs still to be righted, a terrible injustice to be ceased.



Priam and Achilles (cont.): Ellis Lynn Duschenes

Book 24 (cont.)


Black ships, a well-woven tunic

gold winged sandals

saffron-robed dawn


The journey takes much courage. It means entering the enemy camp, abandoning kingly pride for supplication. But that which is sought is so precious. Given, it will mean transcendence for the man who is the focus of the whole tale’s telling--Achilles, son of Peleus, who, in his wrath against his leader, has unleashed consequences more dreadful than he could ever have imagined. 

Such is the ending of the tale.



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