I wrote this one year ago today on Armistice Day. It’s been gathering metaphorical dust in the computer since, as my focus has been more on my health, other personal matters, and our current dystopia this year than poetry submissions. Thus, I decided I might as well share it here for you fine folks and what better day than today? I didn’t set out to write this poem. It just kind of tumbled out, likely after listening to “The Green Fields of France”, “Christmas in the Trenches”, and “Zombie” one too many times. (If you haven’t heard the modernized version of “Zombie” for the 21st century, go listen to it now.) Continue reading
A soldier returns home from battle but has brought the war with him. He stares off into the distance, unable to take joy in his family or friends, still hyperalert to threats he no longer faces. Unable to heal his invisible wound, he takes his own life.
This isn’t a tragic news story about a veteran coming back from Afghanistan with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a summary of the Greek play “Ajax,” which is more than 2,000 years old (“Ancient warrior myths help veterans fight PTSD“).
Since I touched on PTSD in the classics in the last post and it is Memorial Day, it seemed only right to share this article I stumbled upon about how ancient myths, plays, and literary works are helping veterans heal, cope, and transition after coming home from war. I actually studied this at length in school, particularly in several epic literature classes, a class on genocide and reconciliation, a class on Ancient Ireland, and a class on combat trauma and how it relates to Ancient Greek theatre, most of them taught by Professor Robert Meagher of Hampshire College, who specializes in this (among other things). Continue reading