In an age of over-fishing I like these two triologisms suggesting cornucopian fish stocks. Firstly, a reference to the brightness of Achilles’ shield, resembling a beacon giving light to mariners being buffeted on a stormy sea. 

The second describes Iris carrying a message from Zeus, plunging into the the sea like an ox sinking to the bed, feeding the raw-ravening fish there. 

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. 


‘And as when from across water a light shines to mariners

from a blazing fire, when the fire is burning high in the mountains

in a desolate steading, as the mariners are carried unwilling

by storm winds over the fish-swarming sea, far away from their loved ones;

so the light from the fair elaborate shield of Achilleus

shot into the high air.’


She plummmeted to the sea floor like a lead weight which, mounted

along the horn of an ox who ranges the fields, goes downward

and takes death with it to the raw-ravening fish.’


Source: Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (1951)), book XIX, p. 402 and p. 477


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