Homer: The Iliad, Book I

It is indeed a pity that our great public knows so little about poetry; almost as little, in fact, as our poets. -Heinrich Heine

The ‘thing itself’ with which one is here dealing — the critical perception of poetic truth — is of all things the most volatile, elusive, and evanescent; by even pressing too impetuously after it, one runs the risk of losing it. The critic of poetry should have the finest tact, the nicest moderation, the most free flexible, and elastic spirit imaginable; he should be, indeed, the ‘ondoyant et divers,’ the undulating and diverse being of Montaigne. The less he can deal with his object simply and freely, the more things he has to take into account in dealing with it, –the more, in short, he has to encumber himself,– so much the greater force of spirit he needs to retain his elasticity. -Matthew Arnold, On Translating Homer

Is not Arnold’s description of the Critic of poetry a clear reflection of inner game? He who has it need not encumber himself to retain his elasticity.  That is to say that Game like poetry, though a science which might be learned, holds its greatest rewards to those within whom it burns like the gem like flame of Walter Pater; but we’ll discuss him another day.

One may wonder what poetry has to do with Game, beyond metaphors and similes.  Both are essentials, both have been slaughtered in their sickliest moments upon the altar of deformed modern philosophies.  Game is, after all, in its simplest form, masculinity.  That is the essence of hypergamy, that women are attracted to men, and more essentially to the best man which her value as a woman elicits.

The essence of man is doing, in accomplishing; as I have heard from a number of reviews of Jack Donovan* being good at being a man comes in accomplishing, competing and doing, essential in a tight knit group, a gang of men.  The sort of men who first came up with the rules of combat, of chivalry, gentility, and the duel.  These are the stuffs which bore poems.

Poetry in its ancient, original condition included the whole burst of the human mind.

Our word poet extends back to the Greeks their word for poet? It means to make, to do.  So it is then.  But as I mentioned above, poetry has been murdered. Poetry is dead. And with it the depth and importance of the whole burst of the human mind. Is it not tragic that for all the material which the men of the Manosphere have brought forth worthy for epic poems, that ours is not the age for it?

All great poetry shouts truth at the heart of the world. Is this not from whence the power Shakespeare and Homer drew, that these men above all others saw and spoke more perfectly the nature of the existence of man? I have written before about the apathetic and self-serving nature of our culture; that this feeds the feminist beast is not to be easily doubted; that it is a disservice to the nature of man less so.

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one. -Ruskin

After so many diversions I am coming to the point. As Emerson says, “The poet turns the world to glass, and shows us all things in their right series and procession.” To begin an ontological understanding of ourselves we need go to the best sources and few compare with Homer. There is a reason that Alexander the Great slept with the Iliad under his pillow when he conquered the world.

The Iliad is the story of men being great at being men. Among all the tales of spears thrust through ribs and skulls emerges the story of hero against hero, man, in his highest state, against man in his highest state.  Hypergamy picks Achilles, that son of Peleus, every time.

The Iliad, Book I

In the hurry of buying and selling, of tilling and building, we have lost the meaning poetry had to the leisurely ancients, the importance they attached to it, — the large meaning, the supreme importance. We no longer give the poet and the prophet one name, our muses are no longer “those that inquire.” . . . The old ideas of poetry, differ as they may in particulars, converge at this point; viz., that poetry is something beyond, above the man, entering into him at certain times and under certain conditions, and giving him superhuman force of utterance. . . All this attributing of extramundane, of the preterhuman, attests the power of poetry from the beginning. Man could not reach its secret, it was above him from a source far higher and mightier than himself. The ancients worshipped at the shrine of poetry; it was to them a goddess off whose face, divinely fair, the veil was never lifted. -John Vance Cheney

Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

*Jack, can I call you Jack? This is my blog so I guess I can here.  If you have just been chomping at the bit for me to review The Way Of Men feel free to send me a copy. Otherwise you’ll have to wait till I buy it. Which won’t be long.

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4 Responses to Homer: The Iliad, Book I

  1. Keoni Galt says:

    The mano-andro-sphere has grown exponentially since the comment threads at Roissy in D.C. gave birth to this bastard back in ’07-’08. Because of this rapid expansion, I no longer read every blog on my blogroll on a daily basis — because that’s how my blogroll started. It was my daily reading list.

    Used to finish up my daily reads in under 2 hours while at my old desk jockey vocation, that thing I used to laughingly call my “career.”

    But once in awhile, when I got the time to kill, I’ll pick one I haven’t read much of before, and do a little archive diving.

    Up to this point, you’ve been “the linkage dude that took over for Ferd.”

    I’ve now spent half of my Saturday evening drinking fine libations and perusing your poetic ruminations.

    You are a very well read Man, and your prose reflects it.

    Maika’i no!

    Mahalo for sharing your mana’o.


  2. michaelseville says:

    Nice blog-post… Especially “Both are essentials, both have been slaughtered in their sickliest moments upon the altar of deformed modern philosophies”.

    I recommend Christopher Logue translation of the Iliad.

    I came across your blog when writing this http://thepillarsofhercules.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/top-5-acts-of-violence-from-christopher-logues-the-iliad/ – similar subject matter.

  3. Pingback: Reading & Warrior Poets | Von Munchausen

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