Profile picture
Michel Lara @VeraCausa9
, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
In honor of #Armistice100 : the first time the poppy is connected with a fallen soldier appears in a beautiful simile in Homer's Iliad Bk VIII.

Teucer's arrow pierces the chest of Priam's son, Gorgythion, then his helmeted head bows like a poppy weight down by its seeds & rain.
The above Homer's Iliad passage comes from Robert Fagles 1990 lyrical translation [1]
The poppy μήκων (mḗkōn) capsule [kodeia] was associated w/ the goddess of harvest/fertility Demeter because the poppy flowers at harvest time. It also alludes to the poppy's pain-relieving properties assuaging Demeter's intense grief in search of her lost daughter, Persephone.
The English word codeine derives from the Ancient Greek κώδεια kṓdeia, "poppy head" due to its analgesic properties [1]
This detail from a black-figure neck amphora depicts Ajax carrying the dead body of Achilles based on the lost post-Homeric epic "Aithiopis", attributed to the poet Arctinus of Miletus ca. 8th c. BC. The Exekias painter ca. 550 BC at Antikensammlungen, Munich.
As the archetypal Western war epic, Homer's Iliad shadow loomed large on "The Great War" young soldiers concept of heroism & glory. Achilles' semi-divine name embodied that idealized warrior, yet WWI "Unknown Soldier" embodied the pitiless anonymity of death on a horrendous scale
WW1 Dardanelles Campaign/ ANZAC Australians. An Australian soldier carries a wounded comrade to safety 1915-16 [1]
Human condition & War: The above Greek amphora depicts two warriors [Ajax carrying the dead Achilles] during the Trojan War, almost three thousand yrs later two Australian soldiers are captured in a photo, one carrying another on the same land of ancient Ilion [2]
Finishing this thread w/ the poem "Achilles in the Trench" by the English poet Patrick Shaw Stewart who wrote it before Gallipoli, later died in France-powerfully captures timelessness of the Classics & man's fallibility/ agony of war-read by Tom O'Bedlam:
In those final lines Shaw-Stewart alludes to Homer's Iliad Bk 18: Achilles having learned of Patroclus' death let loose a terrifying battle cry, he showed himself to the Trojans standing at the Greek trench, then a divine-induced blaze of flames shot from Achilles' head:
The Foreshadowing of a Poet's Death: In the poem, Shaw-Stewart wishes Achilles' ancient battle cry to protect him from Gallipoli's hellish fiery shells, he does but for a time only as Achilles couldn't change his fate. The poet later dies in December 30, 1917, Cambrai, France.[1]
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Michel Lara
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!