Here comes Hera

Here comes Hera

One goddess you should never cross, quick to rouse to wrath and terrible in her exactions. Divinely, drop-dead gorgeous, of course.There are several heart- prefixed triologisms in Homer, emphasizing the human pain, terror and sorrow of war and hostility; see, for...
Of wine-blue water

Of wine-blue water

The first time I read of the wine-blue Greek sea, I was baffled.  However, I took a second translation to read in Mykonos. Sitting one morning in a blindingly white sunlit courtyard, I cooled my eyes by looking at the sea and suddenly realized what...
Swift-footed Achilleus

Swift-footed Achilleus

One of many stock Homeric epithets, apparently used as mnemonic and prosodic padding, to help with recital from memory and to meet the exigencies of the dactylic hexameter.  I like it, anyhow. See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam...
Grey-eyed Athena

Grey-eyed Athena

An unusual hue for goddess eyes. With the habitually random intervention of a god, Athena appears before Achilles to tell him to cool his fury towards Agamemnon, assuring him he has her protection and that of Hera. The gods are anything but impartial in human affairs...
In praise of the Greeks

In praise of the Greeks

Three triologisms describing the Greeks convey something expansive and vital, though the same could be said of the Trojans. However, I liked this amalgam of ‘great-hearted’, ‘flowing-haired’, and ‘glancing-eyed’, the last having...
An Antarctic tsunami

An Antarctic tsunami

I loved the slowly growing momentum of this vast wave, though one has to hope it would never make landfall, but could gently dissipate its force and dimension in travelling across open ocean. See also the bestellar review of this stupendously lean and powerful...
Mamma turns up

Mamma turns up

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,...
Insubstantial rock-hard durability

Insubstantial rock-hard durability

The durability of things and of cultures intrigues me; and particularly when those artefacts are themselves physically fragile or insubstantial. Here, Adam Nicolson demonstrates that durability need not be carved in stone; in many cases it is simply continuing...
Cobalt polar lapis blue

Cobalt polar lapis blue

A dazzlingly variegated Greek sky. It was under such a sky, which for me also includes hyacinth blue and lilac, that I realised the Greek national flag is simply the pairing of the deep inviting blue of its sky and the blinding whiteness of its church walls in the...

Half a prayer

A perfect example of mercurial Greek god behaviour. No rhyme or reason, I grant this, I grant that, I refuse one thing, and not the other.May your prayers be granted, in whole or in part, but if in part, let it be the right part.’God heard his prayer and granted...
Fortune’s favour

Fortune’s favour

This reminds me of an anonymous Elizabethan verse which I cite from memory:   ‘Lift up thy heart and courage eke, Be bold and of good cheer; For Fortune most doth favour those Who all things least do fear.’   So, go forth and fear not! This is...
Hospitality protocol 101

Hospitality protocol 101

Homer is awash with examples of great hospitality and generosity between hosts and guests, even uninvited ones washing up on the beach. Here is a pithy proverb summing up the responsibility of each. Logue’s magnificent rendition of several books of the...
Sunlight like birds

Sunlight like birds

This conveys the distant wink and sparkle of sun glancing off a choppy sea surface and appearing, at a distance, like a lather of birds.See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s magnificent Why Homer Matters and...
From Troy to Chicago

From Troy to Chicago

Some of the Greek warriors occasionally behave like gangsters, so I liked this 1920s image of a gangster in a striped suit slumped in a big barber’s chrome and leather chair.See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s...

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