Updated: Jun 9
Will, lost in a sea of trouble,
Rise, save yourself from the whirlpool
Of the enemies of willing.
Courage exposes ambushes.
Steadfastness destroys enemies.
Keep your victories hidden.
Do not sulk over defeat.
Accept good. Bend before evil.
Learn the rhythm which binds all men.
Greek Lyricist Poet (c. 680 – c. 645 BC)
Rexroth, K. (2002). Poems from the Greek anthology. University of Michigan Press.
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth-a renowned Indiana born poet and critic, Archilochus (c. 680 – c. 645 BC) the author, was a Greek poet, born in the island of Paros. Archilochus was also an experienced mercenary. His name, written “archos” (meaning - leader) and “lochos” (meaning – ambush) put together implies warfare. He dabbled in many battles, which include those against Thracians of the island of Thassos, colonized by Parians. The island near Thracian mainland possessed heavily contested gold mines and Archilochus was ostensibly embroiled in the intense tussles between the Thracians and Parians.
This poem can be clearly categorized as exhortation poetry, in which he calls out to his fellow soldiers to remain brave, strong, and courageous as they face deadly battles ahead of them. This poem doesn’t only apply to warriors, but to every single individual facing struggles of any kind. Struggles vary and may include poor health, financial difficulty and even family disputes etc.
When facing serious trials, do not lose your will nor give it away. Despair drains any form of critical thinking, but steadfastness fosters consistency and may lead to decisive victory. Stand back, deliberate, research, exchange ideas, plan, and attack your problems. Pick your battles wisely, time is short, pain is assured but victory may be around the corner.
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