Achilles's bane, Amazon warrior, blue is beautiful, Greek myth, Penthesilea, poem, Poetry, sonnet, violets
Mother of war, an ice blue flame flutters
on the hill, wild violets, Achilles’s bane,
fragile on their stalks. All the warriors
who fell before you have given their name
to rocks and flowers, but your name is scorned.
If I were a mother with bronze daughters
of my very own I would have you mourned
in the proper way. The violet honors
you, a star with blue edged of fire, but I am poor.
There are some things more fragile than agates.
I have walked these dunes all morning, the wind
on the hill sings your song. Mother of war,
since I cannot find your grave these violets
must do what I started but will not end.
Penthesilea was the daughter of Orithia and the god Ares. She was known for her bravery, her skill in weapons and her wisdom. During a wild hunt, she accidentally killed her own sister, Hippolyte the Lesser. She was so filled with grief that she set out to liberate Troy, but Greek myth claims Achilles later retook it. During the battle, since she was the daughter of the god of war she killed many high ranking Greek warriors, including Machaon and the Achilles the Greater. Her name means “She Who Compels Men to Mourn.”