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Louise Gluck - The Triumph Of Achilles

In the story of Patroclus
no one survives, not even Achilles
who was nearly a god.
Patroclus resembled him; they wore
the same armor.

Always in these friendships
one serves the other, one is less than the other:
the hierarchy
is always apparant, though the legends
cannot be trusted--
their source is the survivor,
the one who has been abandoned.

What were the Greek ships on fire
compared to this loss?

In his tent, Achilles
grieved with his whole being
and the gods saw
he was a man already dead, a victim
of the part that loved,
the part that was mortal. 

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Added: Apr 12 2005 | Viewed: 10727 times | Comments and analysis of The Triumph Of Achilles by Louise Gluck Comments (1)

The Triumph Of Achilles - Comments and Information

Poet: Louise Gluck
Poem: The Triumph Of Achilles

Comment 1 of 1, added on November 23rd, 2008 at 9:02 PM.

The first poem I ever read from Louise Gluck was "Gretel In darkness", and I loved that Louise had embodied the voice of Gretel years after she had killed the witch. Gretel's trauma came as a surprise to me and game me another aspect of fairy tale characters showing real human emotions. Gretel could still hear the "witch's cry break in the moonlight through a sheet of sugar"; her life is fine as she said "a sheet of sugar" but the thought of killing the witch breaks "the moonlight" as in her perfect life. This poem "The triumph of Achilles" is kind of a criticism of what actually happened in the Trojan War. Skepticism of what happened in the war is evident in this poem because the speaker says that the story relies on the "one who has been abandoned." I love this poem so I am going to replace this poem for "Gretel in Darkness" leaving me with more chances for triumph over my final essay.

Alejandro from United States

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