The Logos of Odysseus

I do not ask that you feel my pain and live my life,
for to inflict the burdens of war upon the people
would defeat the entire purpose for which I went to war.
For the battles the people are told of are fair tales,

Meant to inspire some youth to emulate our example.
For him to forge his body into a tool that obeys
no matter the shape that the smith dictates.
Many dream of a being mighty spear or shield, but

It is the unfortunate few who are chosen to be makhaira.
And it knows the enemy far better than the spear,
Hoisted aloft with a cheer and a cry, while we sit
Unthought of, but waiting to deliver the decisive cut.

For the deeds that end a war are not honorable or glorious,
they are the actions of the moment, when the enemy is convinced
of victory. And upon that moment of glory, the heel is uncovered.
And it is the regretful hand that strikes without warning.

While the priests sit upon their idols,
thinking themselves in the place of gods,
I hear Athena clearly, and she does not speak
of glory or honors, but a time when priests

will themselves stand as kings, and claim dominion
over the whole of creation. Even the thoughts within
the mind they shall claim are theirs. Her lesson is pain.
Her lesson is pain as are all lessons by a wise physician,

who knows that to withhold treatment to lessen the hurt,
is to condemn the patient to a long and lingering death.
So they do as little harm as they can, but make no apologies
for the wrenching and sewing. They too are a part of the lesson.

I am not calling you stupid. For a stupid man would not listen.
A stupid man would laugh at my words, and dismiss them with a wave,
and look to books and scrolls for words that contradict their eyes.
Stupidity is the greatest evil, but only to those who have it.

Call me what names you will. Laugh at me, scorn me and condemn me.
It matters not, for I have what I came here for.
I came here to sack Troy and reclaim Helen. My task is complete.
I leave now, and shall not forget what has happened.

When you call on me again you will not find me,
for I shall find my redemption in my voyage home.
I shall seek forever more to live a life of peace,
But I shall never forget that I was the murderer of Troy.

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Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

Thanks to Odysseus, the Muses and Antisthenes for the inspiration, the words, and the ability to put what I experienced into a form that others can understand.

This has been a real labor of love, and I'm sad to see it end. But at the same time, this entire piece means more to me than almost any other piece I've ever created.

Thank you all for reading it, helping me finish it, and in general being wonderful support. It means a lot.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

TheOtherMaven's picture

It's not a word in common usage, and I wonder how many people will know what it means.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

detroitmechworks's picture

@TheOtherMaven Dagger felt too Modern, and all other words didn't convey the proper image of a sidearm that isn't a sword, but is not a tool for another purpose.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

cri de coeur of a fabled hero. Thank you, detroit!

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detroitmechworks's picture

@HenryAWallace Thanks for the illumination.

It's oddly appropriate, because PTSD used to be called "Soldier's Heart" or similar terms before Shell Shock entered common parlance.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

@enhydra lutris I find it HILARIOUS that Twitter feels the need to censor this. Now of course I HAVE to get it published and pass out copies. Smile

Sent out a few copies to friends, but seeing as only one has responded, I have even more reason to believe that links are "coincidentally" of course, being lost...

or it's just the "Algorithm" Or numerous other reasons why anti-war poetry doesn't spark anybody's interest. Smile

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

magiamma's picture

thank you. Worrisome all this censoring.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

detroitmechworks's picture

@magiamma Piece by piece into a single document, just to make sure I had a COMPLETE copy, with all my notes. I don't think C99 is going anywhere... but...

Fortune favors the prepared.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

yellopig's picture

Really fine work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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“We may not be able to change the system, but we can make the system irrelevant in our lives and in the lives of those around us.”—John Beckett

detroitmechworks's picture

@yellopig Nearly everybody I've talked to about this in person or directly has liked it, or at least one or two of the pieces.

I think that's why it works. It's not a piece that demands one viewpoint be accepted. I'm trying to go with the idea that there are a LOT of sides to this story.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Thanks to you I have been trying to find out about these times. I guess for a long time this was all considered myth, but after the discovery of Troy, not so much. I read something recently that about at 1800 BC, archaeologists found a layer of ash and destroyed buildings, so maybe these were real people leaving their imprint on history. At least on C99 they live again.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Snode But using this format and this event as a backdrop seems to be remarkably freeing.

I know many academics will disagree with me and my envisioning of Troy. But then, seeing as I disagree with them on a fundamental level, of course they will.

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2 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.