How beautiful must I be
to start a war?
Helen of Sparta was so exquisite that
hundreds of men died just to claim her
for their country
Not one of the soldiers had met her
but her face floated before them
as they drove swords into enemy bodies.
What incredible pulchritude this must have been
that men fought for her without seeing her
and could die happily with just a glimpse of
that shining visage!
If I were as lovely as Helen of Troy
would it be my smile haunting you through the day...
or would you still prefer dead Achilles
lying prostrate on the battlefield with
an arrow in his ankle?
27 September 2000