Poetry as song

A muse playing a lyre, sitting on Mount Helicon

Ancient Greek poetry is described as song in the famous beginning of the Iliad:

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκε

Rage, sing, goddess, of Achilles son of Peleus,
ruinous, that laid numberless sufferings on the Achaeans

Though we know that singing here meant something more like chanting, no modern recitations reflect this, at least none that I have heard. Even the best are not completely satisfactory. Continue reading “Poetry as song”