The Fall of Troy

By Rachel Hadas b. 1948 Rachel Hadas
Sing now the heavy furniture of the fall,
the journey’s ending. Strong Aeneas bears   
deep on his shoulders all the dark wood chairs   
and tables of destruction. Bruising, blunt,   
they force his feet on up the war-scraped hills   
past raped dead temples. All Achilles kills   
litters the trail of sofa legs with other   
endings of houses. Further up, gods sit   
changing their own upholsteries of deceit,   
ordaining shelves and benches as the goal   
of his dim voyage. Sometimes arrows drawn   
on chair backs point the way they must go on,   
signs that some corridor of destiny
is reserving him a threshold. Aeneas weeps   
at wind or passion, but steadfastly keeps
carrying battered merchandise marked ROME
in one direction, pondering it all.

Rachel Hadas, “The Fall of Troy” from Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1998 by Rachel Hadas. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1998)

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Poet Rachel Hadas b. 1948

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

 Rachel  Hadas


The daughter of renowned classical scholar Moses Hadas, whose early death she has said gave her a “premature sense of the yoking of love and loss,” Rachel Hadas has published numerous collections of poetry, essays, and translations, including most recently the memoir Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (2011) and the poetry collections The Ache of Appetite (2010) and The Golden Road (2012). Kevin Walzer, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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