Uproot The Dead

Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now.

                            Homer, The Iliad

Edit by Nicoletta Poulakida, ‘il miglior fabbro’

(Notes at end of poem)

Uproot the dead for they define the future,
Crucible of the present has this extension:
Spirit housed in a carnal instrument,
Great Achilles hidden in a community of women,
Dressed as a compliant girl at his mother’s behest,
The fate of a minor goddess narrowly avoided,
Yet Amazonian Penthesilea lived, fought, strove till death;
She merges with all who are indomitable,
Mixing past with present, present with future time.
Conscripted by fate to restore the bridal state,
Achilles, in double-breasted mail, wields a perfect blade,
Cuts flesh from its woven nerve and bone;
Mortal wounds sundering the expanse of hope.
An exalted, plebian army mounted,
Spies confer on how to animate the mission:
Hang all traitors in the court of last resort,
A brief no level of argument can reverse,
Kings folded into the void of martial judgement,
Kneeling sisters of mercy unnoticed, unheard, untouched.
No diversion alters the animal imperative,
Achilles’ blade derives meaning in death,
Guides purpose to its transcendent throne;
Blade of procreation rests for a separate trial,
Errant pleasure to replace the mortal realm:
A wound that will not heal till love unravels,
A delicate clasp that upholds the domestic knot,
Lives in time’s storm over the mortal form.
Conquest turns to ownership of the body politic:
Obsequious courtiers adjust all necessary documents;
Writs that uphold the transfer of power,
Conflicts expeditiously resolved,
Analysis a preoccupation of bloodless times.
Warrior has one concern in life’s kingdom,
Achilles reveals nothing that betrays force, 
Would not allow the will a testament of ambivalence,
Nor retreat to thwarted desire projected on his unwed state.
Tidal powers reign over his expediency,
Lust one more spoil of war:
Life a series of aggrandizements,
What can be known of no heart-rending consequence,
Jostling of armor, tearing of flesh, gloriae in bello self-explanatory.
Half-immortal in a human shell,
Even this gift fraught with despair:
What voyage lies on the other side,
Unwinds blind-sided by the still unknown?
Achilles will die in an epic’s shadow,
What’s left untold folds in a startling light.
Honour deeper than blood defines destiny:
Patriarchy shadows the known globe.
Memory forged in deprivation,
Mental gravity distorts perception:
Flattening the crescent mind,
Two-dimensional portraits abound.
No one steps free of their life alive.
Horses and airborne weapons fly,
Amazons occupy the queendom of sisterhood,
No thought of domestic servitude;
Troy’s skyline a monstrous façade,
Achilles petulant when rebuked,
Friendship the core of the mortal reactor:
Trust enlarges human scope,
Allegiance squares human design,
Sex so anticlimactic if faith reveals.
Linked in pursuit of human goals,
Transfigured in radiant alliance.
Returning home radiates adventure,
More lessons delivered as if reborn:
Taught, re-taught the spooling narrative;
The dead overrule the present as if alive,
Another myth to secure the multitude,
More beliefs framed in the gallery of the sacred,
Experienced in the furnace of trembling needs.
How else can displacement thrive?
Warriors have long left the arid plains;
Fear hosts the last supper of legal bonds,
Chiseled into a world few would do without.
Achilles has no presence in vast, calculated terms,
Amazon and Centaur flee as inspiration burns,
The present hazes over the dead’s return:
Armies of ghosts approaching citadels,
What Achilles and his decorated shield left untold.


gloriae in bello   glory in war

In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad. His mother was the immortal nymph, Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Post-Homeric sources claim that in order to keep Achilles safe from the war, Thetis hides the young man at the court of Lycomedes, king of Skyros. Achilles is disguised as a girl and lives among Lycomedes’ daughters. While visiting the court of Lycomedes in search of Achilles, Odysseus sees through his disguise and convinces him to join the Greek campaign at Troy. At the beginning of the Iliad, Achilles leaves the field of battle following a dispute with Agamemnon, the Greek leader, over possession of a female slave. Achilles urges one of his closest friends, Patroclus, to fight in his place. Patroclus dons Achilles’s armor–except for his ash spear, which only Achilles can wield–and goes into battle as a direct substitute for Achilles. Thinking he is Achilles, the great warrior Hector kills Patroclus. Upon word of the death of Patroclus, Achilles finally agrees to fight with the Greeks. As the story goes, an enraged Achilles puts on the armor and kills Hector–significantly with the ash spear–directly outside of the gates of Troy, and then dishonors Hector’s body by dragging it around tied to the back of a chariot for nine consecutive days. In later accounts, he is said to have also faced and killed Penthesilea, a queen of the Amazons, who wins his heart in death.

© ross 2023
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some say the name means “he who brings pain and misery to the people (of a city /state /region)”

i’ll read again. (from what I know it was his mother that hid him at that court not Peleus)


wrong hero then. i never felt Achilles was ambivalent about anything. he knew what he wanted. others tried to protect him Peleus his mother. what is interesting is the patroklos centaur part of his life. that’s the juice of his lifestory


the fact is that we have the best of Centaurs (superlative) upbringing Achilles and probably his little friend Patroklos, Chiron. amazons and centaurs represent female and male, at war. war of the sexes. we have Achilles dressed as girl to avoid war because his mother foresaw his death. these are the main ingredients of our perspective not kings or military men not cities to be conquered. the root is the psychological aspect of a war between the sexes. the transition from epos Iliad to epos Odyssey, the male epos and the female. overall the dead have nothing to do with… Read more »

because they never died.

Achilles died. or not? is he dead? nobody is dead. we are all in Hades. we should not be calling each other dead it’s impolite.


there is absolutely nothing to learn from Achilles. useless ****** he was. even Chiron failed. correction: we have a lot to learn from the tragic fate of Achilles but we cannot learn anything about a true warrior he was someone who could not control his temper. he was a hedonist protecting the secret that kept him invincible to win win win and fornicate ever after. he is an anti-hero. who failed? apart from his parents his tutor Chiron also failed. was it their fault or was he just a bad apple if there is a worm in the apple no… Read more »

i edited my reply above.


Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed.

doomed as dead that cannot die indeed. the can only live as dead.

as Sophocles said “the luckiest are the Unborn, second best in luck are those who die young” bad translation sorry but it will give you an idea.

Achilles is the biggest fail of a nanny Centaur.


handsome yeah, not that bright, big ego, a narcissist, proving he is invincible with all the tricks his mother did. her precious son.

Ector was better than him in so many ways. the human warrior without immortal tricks. not supernatural.
i trolled your comments right? sorry. i try anything to make people wonder

wtf did they teach us?


dear Ross it was his mother that had great expectations for her son and he was mommy’s boy. do we see other warriors whose mothers followed them to Troy? i don’t recall anything** this obsession of a female for her male child this is the root of the war of the sexes that even Chiron cannot make right the best of the Centaurs. what did she do? she took her son from the biggest Centaur to dress him as a girl? mother in laws in modern days. and mommy’s boys. etc etc here is one of the prophecies Another prophecy… Read more »

that’s the only thing we can learn from this useless dude that mothers must never be control freaks of their sons lives or destinies. check this and think When Themis (goddess of Justice), however, revealed that Thetis was destined to bear a son who would be mightier than his father, the two gods gave her to Peleus, king of the Myrmidons of Thessaly. Thetis, unwilling to wed a mortal, resisted Peleus’s advances by changing herself into various shapes. But, assisted by the wise centaur Chiron, Peleus finally captured her. Justice Reveals Thetis etc then Chiron assists Chiron up-brings mortal male… Read more »


things to take into account. Homer gives a detailed description of the imagery which decorates the new shield. Starting from the shield’s centre and moving outward, circle layer by circle layer, the shield is laid out as follows: The Earth, sky and sea, the sun, the moon and the constellations (484–89) “Two beautiful cities full of people”: in one a wedding and a law case are taking place (490–508); the other city is besieged by one feuding army and the shield shows an ambush and a battle (509–40). A field being ploughed for the third time (541–49). A king’s estate… Read more »


so why would mommy’s boy a coward driven by sexual instinct afraid of death
dragging his feet carry this shield? he wasn’t the best specimen of humanity not even with all the ambrosia on his body

i mean Hector was indeed worthy of such a shield. yet Achilles (the one who brings pain and misery to people a mommy’s boy who has no self-control) is the one who does own it

did Homer actually try to say something not to us but to Gods?


some claim here that Homer is in Tartarus because he revealed everything to humans.

read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_Er.


and who did he try for nine years not to kill In Greek, Héktōr is a derivative of the verb ἔχειν, ékhein, archaic form *ἕχειν, hékhein (‘to have’ or ‘to hold’), from Proto-Indo-European *seĝh- (‘to hold’).[4] Héktōr, or Éktōr as found in Aeolic poetry, is also an epithet of Zeus in his capacity as ‘he who holds [everything together]’. Hector’s name could thus be taken to mean ‘holding fast’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meander_(art) if his father hadn’t learned the secret from Chiron how to hold Thetis how to hold her fast he would never have been born. a very tragic mommy’s boy surely… Read more »


and here one can catch the whiff of Odyssey

Returning home radiates adventure,
More lessons delivered as if reborn:

thanks for mentioning me and I hope you read it to Dominique and she also thought it was a good edit (which you made better with your own voice).



yes you’ve been editing i am not sure that Achilles would be happy with all those nines now, although i cannot see a better way to divide the poem in equal parts and it’s still too long for one part only. what would you do if you had to produce 20 lines for Achilles? what would you cut?


i suspected that

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