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Poem about Alexander
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn,t a poem about Alexander exactly but I came across it the other day and I thought you all might like it It,s an epitaph for the Spartan dead at Thermopylae by A.E. Housman.

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprang.
Life,to be sure is nothing much to lose
But young men think it is
And we were young.

Isn,t that touching and beautifully put? Crying or Very sad
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
This isn,t a poem about Alexander exactly but I came across it the other day and I thought you all might like it It,s an epitaph for the Spartan dead at Thermopylae by A.E. Housman.

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprang.
Life,to be sure is nothing much to lose
But young men think it is
And we were young.

Isn,t that touching and beautifully put? Crying or Very sad

yes, it is..... Crying or Very sad
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carabest



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Poem about Alexander Reply with quote

One of my friends has the hot in a big way for Gerard Butler. He's doing or has done a film called the 300 about Thermoplae.
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Poem about Alexander Reply with quote

carabest wrote:
One of my friends has the hot in a big way for Gerard Butler. He's doing or has done a film called the 300 about Thermoplae.


I like him too, he's very hot. He has done a TV series called "Attila". I felt in love with him since then. Embarassed
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joanna wrote:
You can't imagine the laugh I have everytime I read my poem !


A friend of mine was here before and I told her about it. I pretended I liked it. Then I told her to pay attention and listen to me reciting it. I was reading it and looking at her at the same time. Poor woman ! She was trying hard not to laugh but then, I , myself, couldn't continue and we both burst out laughing Laughing ! Oh, it was so funny ! We couldn't stop laughing ! A real comedy.

" I opened the Gate, for you, Alexander the Great "

Ha, ha ha...Oh, my God, we nearly died laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing




Very good, indeed, to use it in ...a comedy. I think I'll translate it in Greek. I have the feeling it is funnier in Greek. Yeah, definitely, it must be funnier. Laughing


Very good, Joanna! I like your poem. It has emotion. There is some language of Olympias there too, as in "Who is this king?"
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Aniketos



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 25
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What lovely poems! You are all extremely talented! I wish I could write like that! Please write more!

A friend recently sent me the following poem written by Anne Finch (a lady in the seventeenth century!) Here it is, together with my friend's notes at the end.

An Epistle from Alexander
To Hephaestion In His Sickness

By Anne Finch

With such a Pulse, with such disorder'd Veins,
Such lab'ring Breath as thy Disease constrains;
With failing Eyes, that scarce the Light endure,
(So long unclos'd, they've watch'd thy doubtful cure)
To his Hephaestion Alexander writes,
To soothe thy Days, and wing thy sleepless Nights,
I send thee Love: Oh: that I could impart,
As well my vital Spirits to thy Heart!

As on Arbela's Plains we turn'd the Day
When Persians through our Troops had mow'd their way
When the rough Scythians on the Plunder run,
And barb'rous Shouts proclaimed the Conquest won,
'Till o'er my Head (to stop the swift Despair)
The Bird of Jove fans the supporting Air,
Above my Plume does his broad Wings display,
And follows Wheresoe'r I force my way:
Whilst Aristander, in his Robes of White,
Shews to the wav'ring Host th'auspcious Sight;
New Courage it inspires in ev'ry Breast,
And wins at once the Empire of the East.

Could He, but now, some kind of Pressage afford,
That Health might be again to Thee restor'd;
Thou to my Wishes, to my fond Embrace;
Thy Looks the same, the same Majestick Grace,
That round thee shone, when we together went
To chear the Royal Captives in their Tent,
Where Sysigambis, prostrate on the Floor,
Did Alexander in thy Form adore;
Above great Aesculapius shou'd he stand,
Or made immortal by Apelles Hand.

But no reviving Hope his Art allows,
And such cold Damps invade my anxious brows,
As, when in Cydnus plung'd, I dared the Flood
T' o'er-match the Boilings of my youthful Blood.
But Philip to my Aid repair'd in haste;
And whist the proffer'd Draught I boldly taste,
As boldly He the dangerous Paper views,
Which of hid Treasons does his Fame accuse.
More thy Physician's Life on Thine depends,
And what he gives, his Own preserves, or ends.
If thou expir'st beneath his fruitless Care,
To Rhadamanthus shall the wretch repair,
And give strict Answer for his Errors there.

Near thy Pavilion list'ning Princes wait,
Seeking from thine to learn their Monarch's State.
Submitting Kings, that post from Day to Day,
To keep those Crowns, which at my Feet they lay,
Forget th'ambitious Subject of their Speed,
And here arriv'd, only Thy Dangers heed.

The Beauties of the Clime, now Thou'rt away,
Droop, and retire, as if their God of Day
No more upon their early Pray'rs would shine,
Thy Parisatis whom I fear to name,
Lest to thy Heat it add redoubl'd Flame;
Thy Lovely Wife, thy Parisatis weeps,
And in her Grief a solemn Silence keeps.
Stretch'd in her Tent, upon the Floor she lies,
So pale her Looks, so motionless her Eyes,
As wen they gave thee leave at first to gaze
Upon the Charms of her unguarded Face;
When the two beauteous Sisters lowly knelt,
And su'd to those, who more than Pity felt.
To chear her now Statira vainly proves,
And at thy name alone she sighs, and moves.

But why these single Griefs shou'd I expose?
The World no Mirth, no War, no Bus'ness knows,
But, hush'd with Sorrow stands, to favour thy Repsose.
Ev'n I my boasted Title now Resign,
Not Ammon's son, nor born of Race Divine,
But Mortal all, opress'd with restless Fears,
Wild with my cares and Womanish in Tears.

Tho' Tears, before, I for lost Clytus shed,
And wept more Drops, than the old Hero bled;
Ev'n now, methinks, I see him on the Ground,
Now my dire Arms the wretched Corpse surround,
Now the fled Soul I wooe, now rave upon the Wound.
Yet He, for whom this mighty Grief did spring,
Not Alexander valued, but the King.

Then think, how much that Passion must transcend,
Which not a Subject raises but a Friend:
An equal Partner in the vanquished Earth,
A Brother, not impos'd upon my Birth,
Too Weak a Tye unequal Thoughts to bid,
But by the gen'rous Motions of the Mind.
My Love to thee for Empire was the Test,
Since him, who from Mankind cou'd choose the best,
The Gods only fit for Monarch o'er the rest.

Live then, my Friend; but if that must not be,
Nor Fate will with my boundless Mind agree,
Affording, at one time, the World and Thee;
To the most Worthy I'll that Sway resign,
And in Elysium keep Hyphaestion mine.


This poem was taken from Early Modern Women Poets - An Anthology, edited by Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson.

Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, 1661-1720, was a maid of honour (i.e. a lady in waiting) at the court of King James II of England. She was writing her poetry at a time when most women, even noble ones, were very poorly educated in England and where being a female poet was frowned upon. Fortunately she seems to have had a very sympathetic and rather enlightened husband, Heneage, who not only encouraged her writing but acted as her editor and helped to get her poems published. For those not immediately familiar with British History, James II was deposed by his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange (James converted to Catholicism, but Mary and William were strict Protestants.) As Heneage and Anne remained loyal to James, they fell from grace and endured some years of hardship including Heneage being held in custody for a year after trying to follow James to France; this would seem to be reflected in Anne's poetry but ultimately also resulted in both she and Heneage committing themselves to her work.

The Source for this poem was apparently Plutarch's Life of Alexander, translated by Thomas North.

Drypetis / Parisatis For "Parisatis" I assume we should read "Drypetis," Scanning through my copy of North's translation I can't see any mention of the name of the woman Hephaestion married, but I've noticed that in a play written close to this time Parisatis is substituted for Drypetis again so maybe this was a common mistake. If anyone knows another reason, let me know!
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad oh man... Crying or Very sad *sigh*
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aniketos,what a fantastic poem!This woman truly understood the bond between them,didn,t she?The language is wonderful.I,ve printed this off to keep it.Thanks. Very Happy
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Aniketos



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 25
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
Aniketos,what a fantastic poem!This woman truly understood the bond between them,didn,t she?The language is wonderful.I,ve printed this off to keep it.Thanks. Very Happy


Yes, it seems totally amazing to me that someone who wrote that about three hundred years ago, long before Stone's movie, Smile understood this bond between them. The last stanza is so very Sad
"Affording, at one time, the World and Thee;
To the most Worthy I'll that Sway resign,
And in Elysium keep Hyphaestion mine."
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aniketos wrote:
apelles wrote:
Aniketos,what a fantastic poem!This woman truly understood the bond between them,didn,t she?The language is wonderful.I,ve printed this off to keep it.Thanks. Very Happy


Yes, it seems totally amazing to me that someone who wrote that about three hundred years ago, long before Stone's movie, Smile understood this bond between them. The last stanza is so very Sad
"Affording, at one time, the World and Thee;
To the most Worthy I'll that Sway resign,
And in Elysium keep Hyphaestion mine."


Agreed!It really has the Crying or Very sad factor.Also,I love this one,

To his Hephaestion Alexander writes,
To soothe thy Days, and wing thy sleepless Nights,
I send thee Love: Oh: that I could impart,
As well my vital Spirits to thy Heart!

That,s marvellous,don,t you think?I,m interested to think that this woman obviously had a very good classical education because she has a detailed knowledge of Alexander,s life.I wonder how unusual she actually was for her time?Thanks again for the poem. Very Happy

Just a p.s.for Joanna.....did you say you,d found your original poem or am I fantasising?Could you put it up for us?
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not very inspired at the moment...

He came from the mountains
to conquer the plains
A man of a small nation
but all knew his name
by the time that he left us
Alexander
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
Just a p.s.for Joanna.....did you say you,d found your original poem or am I fantasising?Could you put it up for us?


No, you are not fantasising. She said that, but I think she has "forgotten" again to let us read it. Laughing
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Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I found this small Shrine site belonging to Beryl Alexandros....'friend of Alexander'
http://www.freewebs.com/alexandershrine/index.htm
There are some nice things on there...
regards
Cynisca
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexandros_19 wrote:
apelles wrote:
Just a p.s.for Joanna.....did you say you,d found your original poem or am I fantasising?Could you put it up for us?


No, you are not fantasising. She said that, but I think she has "forgotten" again to let us read it. Laughing




Ha,ha,ha very funny guys! After Anne Finch's beautiful poem I've just read, you expect me to post my first poem ? No way !!!!
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cynisca wrote:
I am not very inspired at the moment...

He came from the mountains
to conquer the plains
A man of a small nation
but all knew his name
by the time that he left us
Alexander



Confused Rolling Eyes

To write a poem is not that easy. Of course we need inspiration. We can keep on trying.............Your poem is small and simple. Is that good or not ? What a cryptic comment !( after reading and posting so many things about Delphi, I became the pristess Pythia Cool )
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