We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We only have fragments of Archilochus' lyric poetry (ie accompanied by a lyre), which have been found over the years on shreds of papyrus. Here are a few of those fragments:
- My one great talent lies in making those who wrong me suffer horribly.
- I am the servant of Ares, Lord of Battle, and I know the lovely gift of the Muses.
- Some Thracian is delighted with the shield, which beside a bush I left unwillingly, an excellent and perfect armament. Myself I saved! Why should that shield be important to me? The hell with it! I'll get another, just as good.
- Not many bowstrings will be stretched nor slingshot flying thick, when Ares makes his killing field on the plain. Then it will be the grievous work of the sword. They are the Lords of this kind of battle - The spear-famed Lords of Euboea.
- I long for a fight with you, just as a thirsty man longs for drink.
- The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
- There is no country fair and desirable or lovely, like that around the banks of the Siris.
- I have no interest in the business of Gyges and all his gold, nor has such envy ever grasped me, nor do I feel envious of the works of the gods, nor have I love for high rulership, for all these things are very far from my eyes.
Archilochus, the first great Greek poet we know after Homer and Hesiod, is thought to have been a soldier, maybe a mercenary, possibly of the nobility - and the inventor if iambic verse. He was a master of meter, and seems to have been a cranky and vengeful SOB who never got over not being permitted to marry the gal he wanted. His vengeance drove her family to suicide. He died in battle, as he no doubt would have wanted to do. Not the type to die in a bed.
Thanks for that! I am inspired to share a poem that was found on shards of pottery, scribed in Akkadian somewhere around 2000 B.C. by an anonymous poet... copied from "World Poetry" - Norton BOMC 1998, translated by Jerome Rothenberg:
They are 7 in number, just 7
In terrible depths they are 7
Bow down, in the sky they are 7
In the terrible depths, the dark houses
They swell, they grow tall
They are neither female nor male
They are a silence heavy with seastorms
They bear off no women their loins are empty of children
They are strangers to pity, compassion is far from them
They are deaf to men's prayers, entreaties can't reach them
They are horses that grow to great size that feed on mountains
They are the enemies of our friends
They feed on the gods
They tear up the highways they spread out over the roads
They are the faces of evil they are the faces of evil
They are 7 they are 7 they are 7 times 7
In the name of heaven let then be torn from our sight
In the name of the Earth let them be torn from our sight
I believe that poem was written by Konstantin Balmont, and was translated from his Russian original by Rothenburg. Balmont's poem ("Ancient Calls", or Зовы древности) was inspired by the Mesopotamian, but not a translation of it. (I've been searching everywhere online for the text of this poem, and only discovered it today in "The Rattle Bag", an anthology of poetry from 1982!)
I have a high art: I hurt with cruelty those who wound me.
Tag line for a great (forgotten) movie, Exposure/aka A Grande Arte by Walter Salles. Peter Coyote, Amanda Pays and Tcheky Karyo.
After an attack, a American Photographer learns the art of Knife Fighting from a mysterious master of the art who owes him a favor. Blades, drugs, prostitutes and Rio.