Archilochus

“It is noteworthy that, unlike the writers that came before him, Archilochus saw no glory in war.  In one poem, which Horace was later to imitate, he speaks of his inglorious action in abandoning his shield in order to save his life: ‘No matter,’ he says, ‘I can always find another.'” His voice is said to be “controlled yet personal” not “formulaic and heroic” like other ancient Greek poetry.

I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this “Greek poet and soldier who is sometimes considered the greatest Greek poet after Homer.”  It would interesting to compare his poetry with that of other war poets, such as Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, and Siegfried Sassoon.  I also wonder if more recent wars, such as the recent Gulf Wars, have produced any notable war poets.

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