The Shield of Achilles , Monoprint, (29 3/4" x 19 1/2") The Shield Of Achilles by W. H. Auden She looked over his shoulder for ritual pieties, white flower-garlanded heifers, libation and sacrifice, but there on the shining metal where the altar should have been, she saw by his flickering forge-light quite another scene. Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke) and sentries sweated for the day was hot: a crowd of ordinary decent folk watched from without and neither moved nor spoke as three pale figures were led forth and bound to three posts driven upright in the ground. The mass and majesty of this world, all that carries weight and always weighs the same lay in the hands of others; they were small and could not hope for help and no help came: what their foes like to do was done, their shame was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride and died as men before their bodies died. She l
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Achilles by Carol Ann Duffy Myth’s river – where his mother dipped him, fished him, a slippery golden boy flowed on, his name on its lips. Without him, it was prophesied, they would not take Troy. Women hid him, concealed him in girls’ sarongs; days of sweetmeats, spices, silver songs … But when Odysseus came, with an athlete’s build, a sword and a shield, he followed him to the battlefield, the crowd’s roar, And it was sport, not war, his charmed foot on the ball … But then his heel, his heel, his heel … Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate 2009, composed this poem on the occasion of footballer David Beckham’s injury to his Achilles tendon. Achilles Heel is my Monotype Print (30 x 15 1/4 in.) created for exhibition in my studio during the 2012 Vashon Island Art Studio tour.