Monday, July 14, 2014

The Education Of Kings

Chiron Instructs Young Achilles On The Lyre 


Nothing more alive springs forth
Achilles grief, the lyre sings forth
Brings a greater king to me
Than all of Homer's embassy

Open the wider space to me
Cover over destiny
covered, the dead will open more
covered and seen alive!

©2014 Greater Kings stephanie pope
#ohj grief, embassy


1. In the education of Achilles, Achilles is taught the lyre by the centaur, Chiron. The mystery of the lyre itself is in its ability to convey an unseen sight. Wordless interiors blanket the unseen, wider space of the underworld uncovering it.   The unseen sight, the lyre image shows through [or fails in its attempt to show] a man in the manner of his own life breath confronting what in himself lives and is worth living. Not what he chooses but beyond this in what will have been seen and opened in confronting himself is he alive. The language of images speaks without any words having to be spoken. Mythopoetics is that manner of using words letting words use us to convey a breakthrough experience of bigger begetting.

2. Iliad Book I :Opening Lines

Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.

3. Book IX Iliad
Homer’s embassy to Achilles includes Agamemnon who, at the opening to book I clashes and breaks with Achilles. But, here in book IX he attempts to buy back Achilles loyalty all the while believing he is the greater king. Achilles response is to reject the embassy of the Acheans calling the life breath of a man the greater king. But somehow, in the language of Chiron's lyre, the language of image one encounters the greater king.

Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding,
tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions.
But a man’s life breath cannot come back again—
. . .

Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies. . . .

photo credit
Chiron instructs young Achilles on the lyre photo file in publicc domain/Ancient roman fresco Herculaneum, Augusteum (cd. Basilica) National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy (inv. nr. 9109).  References: AA.VV. Ercolano, Tre secoli di scoperte, Electa Napoli 2008, pag. 255-256, nr. 29