Wrestling With Poetry in November
by Homer (ca. 8th century BCE)
translated by Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Book 23: Funeral Games in Honour of Patroclus
[wherein Achilles bestows on Nestor the unawarded fifth prize, the two-handled urn]
Achilles this to reverend Nestor bears.
And thus the purpose of his gift declares:
"Accept thou this, O sacred sire! (he said)
In dear memorial of Patroclus dead;
Dead and for ever lost Patroclus lies,
For ever snatch'd from our desiring eyes!
Take thou this token of a grateful heart,
Though 'tis not thine to hurl the distant dart,
The quoit to toss, the ponderous mace to wield,
Or urge the race, or wrestle on the field:
Thy pristine vigour age has overthrown,
But left the glory of the past thy own."
He said, and placed the goblet at his side;
With joy the venerable king replied:
"Wisely and well, my son, thy words have proved
A senior honour'd, and a friend beloved!
Too true it is, deserted of my strength,
These wither'd arms and limbs have fail'd at length.
Oh! had I now that force I felt of yore,
Known through Buprasium and the Pylian shore!
Victorious then in every solemn game,
Ordain'd to Amarynces' mighty name;
The brave Epeians gave my glory way,
AEtolians, Pylians, all resign'd the day.
I quell'd Clytomedes in fights of hand,
And backward hurl'd Ancaeus on the sand,
Surpass'd Iphyclus in the swift career,
Phyleus and Polydorus with the spear.
The sons of Actor won the prize of horse,
But won by numbers, not by art or force:
For the famed twins, impatient to survey
Prize after prize by Nestor borne away,
Sprung to their car; and with united pains
One lash'd the coursers, while one ruled the reins.
Such once I was! Now to these tasks succeeds
A younger race, that emulate our deeds:
I yield, alas! (to age who must not yield?)
Though once the foremost hero of the field.
Go thou, my son! by generous friendship led,
With martial honours decorate the dead:
While pleased I take the gift thy hands present,
(Pledge of benevolence, and kind intent,)
Rejoiced, of all the numerous Greeks, to see
Not one but honours sacred age and me:
Those due distinctions thou so well canst pay,
May the just gods return another day!"
I have been tired and often not feeling well the past couple months, nothing serious, just part of being me with the maladies I have. This is one reason for the slowdown in posts. I work well over 40 hours a week, and work on a poetry column that takes 20-30 hours a week as well, so the Bud Bloom time is what's left after taking care of personal and family matters.
A second reason has turned up the past couple weeks. That has to do with the Pocha Pocha project, the Positive Change Poetry Channel. I want to get that off the ground, and I'm thinking that literature, visuals, and music forums should go up first, then possibly a mixed-media periodical, and then the development of a resource center for artistic expression, a site that is not nationalistic in any unnecessary sense, that reaches to be there for anyone, anywhere, any language. There are other steps that will become goals beyond the internet, some expressed in the post linked to above, but this is the beginning. I want PochaPocha.com to be up as soon as reasonably possible.
But the third reason is another online identity I have, which moved me to make this post. As a practical matter, I will be spending hours and hours this month with another pseudonym. The Massachusetts wrestling community knows me as "dansdad". Seriously, I have walked into tournaments and heard "Hey, that's dansdad".
At MassWrestling.com, I am a moderator for the articles, and the College forum. November means that colleges nationwide (California's a bit different) are beginning their programs, and have their rosters and schedules up online. I serve the wrestling community across the country by making lists of the colleges with wrestling programs, sorting them A to Z, and by state (and for you clickers, I don't know how those "?"'s got in there this past year).
I then take the up-to-date alphabetical list, and click into all the rosters of all the colleges, looking for the wrestlers from Massachusetts. I create directories of them by school and alphabetically. Someone's got to do it.
So now, priorities get switched, because the wrestling project is time sensitive. I really ought to have everything up by the end of the month. Usually, I am jamming with my Thanksgiving Day time off, to get it all near complete.
I don't know how this will work out. I have never been Bud Bloom and dansdad at the same time. In fact, I have only been Bud Bloom while looking forward to going to readings and festivals, never local meets and tournaments. I was at the high school tournament below, for instance, and will be there this year too. But I hope to bring some interesting and high quality poetry blog posts for you here this month.
Thanks very much.