Telephone: A Voice From Afar

January 4, 2018
By AmeliaJade BRONZE, Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, Other
AmeliaJade BRONZE, Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, Other
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment


From afar, over mountains, crossed oceans,
separated by day and night like
Achilles and Patroclus,
life and death like an intertwined web,
spider silk and soft whispers into pillows,
morse code between walls,
Odysseus’ boat journey home,
the horse that came into Troy.


A voice, the last call of the desperate,
screaming for help, falling and drowning,
lips pressed against ears, hands gripped
around the receiver, lost loves trying to reach out,
to hear it, to hold it, to have it one more time,
like Achilles and Patroclus,
like Odysseus and Penelope,
like Helen and Paris,
Greece and Troy.


A voice from afar,
the screams across the seas,
the hand that grasps across realms
to hold a lover,
like Achilles and Patroclus,
the waves that ripple towards
the mournful cries of a wife,
like Odysseus and Penelope,
the words that start a war,
Paris and Helen,
Greece and Troy.

The author's comments:

Beginning to study Classical Greek last year, I realised how many English words develop from the language. The word 'telephone' was the first that I learnt had Greek origins, literally meaning 'a voice from afar.' This connected to the Homeric poetry we studied later in the year. I wrote this poem remembering three of the most loving couples in the Iliad and the Odyssey: Paris and Helen, the couple that began the Trojan War in the first place, Achilles and Patroclus, the latter of which dies for the former, and Odysseus and Penelope, who have such strong love for one another that she waited a decade for his return, and even when all his allies were killed, he still tried to get home. I connected this to the modern-day world of telephones, the drowning of Narcissus, and the story of Eurydice and Orpheus, who tried to revive his wife with beautiful music.

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