I get a lot of comments on my last name. By a lot, I mean, almost every day. I don't mind, I actually find the range of responses fairly amusing. Plus, it was way worse around the time Troy came out in theaters (which, sorry Brad Pitt, I've never bothered to watch). Aside from the Greek mythology somewhere across space and time, there are countless references to Achilles from Dante's Inferno to Bob Dylan's "Temporary Like Achilles" to W.H. Auden's "The Shield of Achilles" to a Pedro the Lion album. The following poem, Achilles In The Trench, written by Patrick Shaw-Stewart before he died in WWI.
I saw a man this morning Who did not wish to die; I ask, and cannot answer, if otherwise wish I.
Fair broke the day this morning Upon the Dardanelles: The breeze blew soft, the morn’s cheeks Were cold as cold sea-shells.
But other shells are waiting Across the Aegean Sea; Shrapnel and high explosives, Shells and hells for me.
Oh Hell of ships and cities, Hell of men like me, Fatal second Helen, Why must I follow thee?
Achilles came to Troyland And I to Chersonese; He turned from wrath to battle, And I from three days’ peace.
Was it so hard, Achilles, So very hard to die? Thou knowest, and I know not; So much the happier am I.
I will go back this morning From Imbros o’er the sea. Stand in the trench, Achilles, Flame-capped, and shout for me.