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


The Iliad, Book I, Lines 1-16

Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men--carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.
Begin it when the two men first contending
broke with one another--
				    the Lord Marshal
Agamémnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus.

Among the gods, who brought this quarrel on?
The son of Zeus by Lêto. Agamémnon
angered him, so he made a burning wind
of plague rise in the army: rank and file
sickened and died for the ill their chief had done
in despising a man of prayer.

Credit


From Iliad, by Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald and published by Anchor Books © 1975. Used with permission. 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: 1975-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/iliad-book-i-lines-1-16