A few signals to keep an eye out for so you don’t miss the moment a god may show up: it could be aural, olfactory, visual or just a change in temperature.  In this case it was the perfume of oceanic lavender that first hinted at the arrival of a goddess-mother, then transmuting into a rising mist.  See also Athena’s pitching up in front of Achilles. 

For more magnificent quotations and startlingly original metaphors from Logue’s superb rendition of the Iliad, see the bestellar review.

 

‘Sometimes

Before the gods appear

Something is marked:

A noise. A note, perhaps.  Perhaps

A change of temperature.  Or else, as now,

The scent of oceanic lavender,

That even as it drew his mind

Drew from the seal-coloured sea onto the beach

A mist that moved like weed, then stood, then turned

Into his mother…’

 

Source: Christopher Logue, War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 8

Photo credit: MDARIFLIMAT at pixabay.com

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