This horrifyingly vivid image is made more painful by its casual tone, with a boy likened to a sardine.

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 passed so close that hub skinned hub.

Ahead, Patroclus braked a shade, and then,

As gracefully as men in oilskins cast

Fake insects over trout, he speared the boy,

And with his hip his pivot, prised Thestor up and out

As easily as later men

Disengage sardine from a tin.’


Source: Christopher Logue, War Music, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 154

Photo credit: gavilla,


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