This rich if none too favourable description of the Greeks – ‘hatched from the slag we cast five centuries ago’ – has a couple of fine metaphors, including ‘our speech like footless crockery in their mouths’ and the idea that an offer of diplomacy is like ‘giving strawberries to a dog’.

Sadly, three thousand years on, we still face the onslaughts of people impelled by hate, for whom peace is a crime.

See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s magnificent Why Homer Matters and Logue’s War Musica muscular rendition of several books of the Iliad. 

 

‘They are a swarm of lawless malcontents

Hatched from the slag we cast five centuries ago,

Tied to the whim of their disgusting gods,

Knowing no quietude until they take

All quiet from the world.  Ambitious, driven, thieves.

Our speech, like footless crockery in their mouths.

Their way of life, perpetual war.

Inspired by violence, compelled by hate,

Peace is a crime to them, and offers of diplomacy

Like giving strawberries to a dog.’

 

Source: Christopher Logue, War Music, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 48-49

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