Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Iliad, Book I, Lines 1-15

RAGE:
               Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And left their bodies to rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done. 
    Begin with the clash between Agamemnon-- 
The Greek warlord--and godlike Achilles.

   Which of the immortals set these two
At each other's throats?
                                    Apollo
Zeus' son and Leto's, offended
By the warlord. Agamemnon had dishonored
Chryses, Apollo's priest, so the god
Struck the Greek camp with plague,
And the soldiers were dying of it.

Credit


From The Iliad, lines 1-17, by Homer, translated by Stanley Lombardo and published by Hackett Publishing. © 1997 by Stanley Lombardo. Used with permission of Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., Indianapolis, IN and Cambridge, MA. All rights reserved.

Author


Homer

Little is known about the life of Homer, the author credited with composing The Iliad and The Odyssey who is arguably the greatest poet of the ancient world.

Date Published: 1997-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/iliad-book-i-lines-1-15