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 replete with such rich and meandering metaphors.  

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


‘… dropped then to the ground in the dust, like some black poplar,

which in the land low-lying about a great marsh grows

smooth trimmed yet with branches growing at the uttermost tree-top:

one whom a man, a maker of chariots, fells with the shining

iron, to bend it into a wheel for a fine-wrought chariot…’


‘And a horse straining at the strong-wheeled chariot might not easily enter there…’


Source: Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (1951)), book 4, p. 126; book 12, p. 259


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