Wood and war

Wood and war

I liked these two woody similes for war and death, the first to convey the din and crash of battle, the second to describe the mortal felling of a great warrior. Homer’s stretch-similes are an exercise in holding an unfolding image in your mind until he lands...
Wasps quick-bending

Wasps quick-bending

One of the many stretch metaphors used by Homer. When you see a comma followed by ‘as …’ it can be a signal to take a good intake of breath to carry you through to the end of the image. Here it is feisty bees and quick-bending wasps who convey the...
Sweet-running river

Sweet-running river

Flowing like the sweet-running river it evokes, a meandering metaphor for Hector’s strength and movement, likened to a thoroughbred horse breaking free and seeking out its remembered watering spots and pastures.  Other riverine triologisms include:...
Dark-named destiny

Dark-named destiny

Another term for death, the fate of Asios who, horse-proud, insisted on driving his chariot into the fray where he met a Trojan spear. See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s magnificent Why Homer Matters, and...
High-hearted Trojans

High-hearted Trojans

A curious triologism, suggesting courage, felicity, or nobility?  Given the Greeks beating at the gates, it’s unlikely to be about felicity, so I plump for bravery or similar.See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam...
The walls and towers of Troy

The walls and towers of Troy

Three triologisms demonstrating the strength of the protective masonry encasing Troy; the first being spoken by Agamemnon, chief among the Greek kings at Troy.  As we know, in the end, the walls came tumbling down not by being breached or broken but through...
Blank-eyed face

Blank-eyed face

A shield features a terrifying Gorgon’s head to project fear and dread onto any assailant.  Elsewhere, that same blank-eyed stare is attributed to the Trojan hero Hector in murderous mode.See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam...
Nestor berates the Greeks

Nestor berates the Greeks

Old Nestor has a few choice words to say to his fellow Greeks for their unwillingness to take on the Trojan hero Hector. He compares their cowardice to his own ‘hard-enduring heart’ which fuelled his courage in his youth.See also the bestellar reviews,...
Bright and brighter

Bright and brighter

The Trojan Hector goes on the attack with his beautiful horses, bright-maned, a complement to the bright-patterned shield of Odysseus.Note Hector’s Gorgon-eyed murderous stare and see also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam...
Foes and friends

Foes and friends

Here, the Trojan hero Hector addresses the Greek Ajax in friendship.  There is a number of heart- prefixed triologisms in Homer, concerning hatred, hostility, and its effects. See also Hera’s battle kit and the bestellar reviews, complete with rich...
Fine wrought and strong wheeled

Fine wrought and strong wheeled

I happen to love fine descriptions of things well crafted, chariots, ships, bridges, tables, pots…Particularly striking is the first of these chariot related triologisms, part of an unusual and involved metaphor for the way a man drops dead in a battle. Homer is...
Of shooting shadows

Of shooting shadows

This expertly aimed spear casts a shadow as it flies through the air, and its reach is far. Surprising then that it fails to hit the target, deflected by a strong shield.See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s...
Helen has second thoughts

Helen has second thoughts

Helen regrets her elopement with Paris after seeing him nearly killed by the husband she abandoned, only surviving because a goddess spirited him away in the nick of time. Hardly heroic. The quotation begins with a certain loveliness which doesn’t prepare you...
Fast and strong

Fast and strong

Three triologisms to describe the fine, fast, strong ships that brought the Greeks to Troy. I particularly like ‘sea-wandering’. May you be fast-running and strong-benched, wherever you wander. See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich...

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