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Achilles Reborn (Edited)

by MacOitir

I'm thinking of writing a story based on the Cattle Raid of Cooley, one of my favourite legends. It might be a bit ambitious for me yet (it's a long story) but I wrote this poem based on the climatic  battle. Not great but a start.

Achilles Reborn

The armies of the west marched northward,
whispered tales echoed in the night, 
voices hushed in Her Majesty's presence
for soldiers talk forfeited soldiers lives.

They spoke of an entity, more beast than man.
His war cry shriller than any sidhe
his rage, carnage personified.
He anticipated their arrival.

When they reached Ulster, stamping and chanting
the stories were forgotten, old wives tales.
They were braver in the light of day,
till a lone figure appeared in the distant haze.

Sétanta stood tall and erect,
his sword didn't grunt but sang,
and all those felled are honourably gone,
their mothers will weep, but not loudly.

In the night, when soldiers licked wounds,
and Sétanta sat by burning coals,
The Morrigan appeared. She beckoned to him,
offered him Glory in exchange for Love

'Begone Morrigan' he sneered
'A hero earns his glory,
he doesn't beg it from the ravens mouth'
And with that, he sealed his fate.

While the man did rest,
the Queen of Connacht set the mountains a glow with crimson
and the children of Ulster decayed by the thousand.
The seeds of Sétanta's fire have been sown.

The Hound waxes, the man wanes,
courage drops like a beggar in a noose
when it gazes upon his warped visage.
Cúchulainn has been unleashed.

No friends nor foes concerned him
only the hunt for fresh meat,
but he didn’t see the final spear coming,
the Morrigan's final deceit

The Cú faded and Setanta awoke, to die on his feet,
he was held upright by innards, fastened to a boulder,
but none did dare to approach him,
till a solitary raven perched on his shoulder.

Cúchulainn: Literally the 'Hound of Culann'
The Morrigan: Goddess of War, Death and Ravens.

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802 Reviews

Points: 18884
Reviews: 802

Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:19 am
Dracula wrote a review...

Hey! I'll attempt to review this, but I honestly don't have much to say because your poem is already amazing! In my opinion, nothing needs to be edited or reworded. It flowed nicely and you used good, descriptive words for the story. It actually made me smile like a madwoman when I found that someone else uses the word sidhe. :D It's brilliantly written and is true to the tale, I would definitly encourage you to write more like this. Go ahead and try writing the full story! Maybe give it a modern twist or something like that to make it your own.

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Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:43 am
Vikingr says...

Hopefully I remember to do a review of this tomorrow. Honestly feel free to PM me and get my rear end over here if I forget. Lol.

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40 Reviews

Points: 2320
Reviews: 40

Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:55 pm
TinkerTwaggy wrote a review...

Ok, the first thing I gotta say is the confusion I felt upon reading the title of this poem and THEN reading the summary.
I'm familiar with both warriors, so I know they have lots of similarities, and that's probably why you went with such a title, but I dunno, it felt a bit too misleading. It's like writing a poem about Micheal Jackson, but calling the poem "Elvis the King". It sounds... Off.

Now, on to the actual poem.

Ohmehgush, you started by calling him Setanta <3
I'll probably be fanboying a lot on the references, so don't mind that. I really like this Hero :D

Putting that aside, I like the flow of the poem, witha sweet spot for some of the imagery you used. Sentences like "his sword didn't grunt but sang,
and all those felled are honourably gone," seem really good to my eyes. On top of that, I don't think I detected any grammatical mistakes, though don't take my word on that, I'm not the best grammar nazi around, so even I might miss some mistakes you made. Do spellcheck your work every time you're about to submit it, we never know.

That ALSO aside, though I do believe that you did well adding the references at the end of your poem, thus explaining who the characters were and what the places were, I do believe you should've found a way to incorporate these information in your poem. I know, there are a lot of actual authors that add little phases as side pieces of information to read and understand, but for a poem, and especially based on such an epic tale, I'm sure you could've find a way to incorporate them in this piece, with the help of one of your wonderful image, for instance. Plus, it's especially confusing for those with no historical knowledge on the character/setting, as you named your poem "Achilles Alone".
Food for thought!

As for myself, this made me smile. With your writing, you managed to capture a sense of throwback to the original tale, and that's something you should use again if you do plan to base a story on the Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Good luck for your project, man! Start with little stuff like that, gain some experience, and you'll be fine ;)

~Shell Master Tortwag

MacOitir says...

Thanks for the review Tortwag. It's great to get feedback, especially so quick. I understand your problem with the title, to be honest I hesitated to name it 'Achilles Alone' but it just seemed right to me. I always saw them as the same person in two different lives and intended to draw more comparisons between the Iliad and the Cattle Raid if I wrote more, you're right about it being misleading though.
You're a hundred percent right about incorporating backstories of the characters into the poem. The footnotes were an after thought really. I'm so familiar with the scene that I didn't even think about explaining it. It was only when I was about to publish it that I realised most people would't have a clue what was going on :)
Thanks a million for the anyway.

TinkerTwaggy says...

To be fair, a lot of heroes from different cultures have so many similarities that it's very possible that they based themselves on each other in some aspects. Again, I understand why you chose this title, especially during that moment.
Yeah, I know that feeling. Basically you gotta learn about thinking for someone that's out of your mind, who doesn't necessarily knows what's on your mind. Took me a while to learn that. Good think you realized it BEFORE posting though ;)

You're welcome, and keep on writtin'!

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee; my heart is at your festival.
— William Shakespeare