Twice Told Troy

Twice Told Troy

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The poet lays in bed, awaiting his imminent demise. Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, appears to him, and he sees the world of his poem unfold in her eyes. He inhabits this world, which allows him to be young again. The epic poem unfolds for a second time while he lays in bed as an old man who feels death's advance, but also as a young man trying to find immortality inside the world of his poem. "Speak no more, Muse, for the lights of Olympus have faded. The gods have fallen silent, the glowing worlds beneath them no longer in a state of becoming. Helen's beauty, the bearer of all summer likenesses, becomes a mere imprint on my poetic tongue's last spoken syllable. A once-unending river bends. Like Achilles, I feel time irrevocably shifting my life's golden stream. My life is ending. Time hurls itself toward me, distinctly sharp and clear in its mortal profusion. The arrow reaches its mark, and I feel that the demigod's hands are my own. The half-perspiring palms are intersecting lines, which then converge with smaller lines along the coarsely gleaming moisture. I sink beneath the weight of a heavy sky. A world immeasurably white now breathes the end of me, reminding me of the silent kindness of snow. My time has come. My life ebbs away into a rimless ocean, the sun above it no longer a radiant disc but a sky entire. A heaven-shaped sun filled to my mortal world's brim. The light of this sky blinds me with necessity, for it quickly departs and gives way to heavy tears of soot. The sky is now as sightless as a poetry unheard, the dim stars in it teeming with unconcern, half-jovial indifference even. My life rises beneath the blackened dome. It moves like a century's incessant yearning. Calliope appears before me, her hand gliding gently above mine. Her gaze suffuses the time-worn depths of me, the brilliance of her eyes smiling upon a heart half-darkened with dread. Death slowly descends upon me. Calliope helped me tell my tale, but now I must find the words and meaning of my life's end. Days ago, I was called before a council of elders. They reminded me of the Olympian gods. The elder who presided over the council spoke to me with a voice booming down like Zeus' thunder. The Muse ushered me into the chamber to face the elders as they waited for me to report the progress I had made in furthering my poem. They awaited my arrival most eagerly for they rose in unison as I entered. The Muse was no longer at my side at that moment, for she waited for me to call upon her upon my return to my chamber. The sight beyond the opening of the chamber's wall revealed a dazzling white city. The Muse now looks deeply into my eyes. I feel my life unfolding for a second time."
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 152 x 229 x 10mm | 268g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507868626
  • 9781507868621