About this poet

Christopher Logue was born in Hampshire, England, on November 23, 1926.

He is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Husbands: An Account of Books 3 and 4 of Homer's Iliad (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995), Kings: An Account of Books 1 and 2 of Homer's Iliad (1991), and War Music (1987).

He is also a playwright and has written screenplays for, as well as acted in, a number of films. Christopher Logue died on December 2, 2011, at the age of 85.

War Music [Down on your knees, Achilles]

Christopher Logue, 1926 - 2011
An account of books 16-19 of the Iliad by Homer. 

  Down on your knees, Achilles.  Farther down.
Now forward on your hands and put your face into the dirt,
And scrub it to and fro.
  Grief has you by the hair with one
And with the forceps of its other hand
Uses your mouth to trowel the dogshit up;
Watches you lift your arms to Heaven; and then
Pounces and screws your nose into the filth.
  Gods have plucked drawstrings from your head,
And from the templates of your upper lip
Modelled their bows.
  Not now.  Not since
Your grieving reaches out and pistol-whips
That envied face, until
Frightened to bear your black, backbreaking agony alone,
You sank, throat back, thrown back, your voice
Thrown out across the sea to reach your Source.

From War Music by Christopher Logue, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Copyright © 1988 Christopher Logue. Used with permission.

Christopher Logue

Christopher Logue

Christopher Logue was born in Hampshire, England, in 1926. He is the

by this poet

To welcome Hector to his death
God sent a rolling thunderclap across the sky
The city and the sea
      And momentarily—
The breezes playing with the sunlit dust—
On either slope a silence fell.

   Think of a raked sky-wide Venetian blind.
   Add the receding traction of its slats
   Of its slats of its slats