The Hubris of Reputation

Sparta - Named Co- Mr. Sparta With Their Commander - Quite the Honor
The Hubris of Reputation
by Michael Doyle

Preferring victory over reconciliation
There lies that hint of absurd fascination
With that hubris born from sheer arrogance
That forgets that excessive pride lacks eloquence

Believing humanity cannot do any more
Than God or the gods ever meant us for
Ajax's zero sum game came from a warrior's inspiration
As the story of Troy speaks on overreach and ambition

Menelaus called out in shame and relied upon
His brothers of Greece, including Agamemnon
Achilles, Odysseus, and the mighty Ajax
To prevail against Troy in their inspired attacks

All for the sake of the honor of Helen and her king
However much folly things of false honor actually bring
For nine long years, men died at the walls of Troy
For the sake of a false honor, Menelaus wanted to enjoy

There where the warrior Achilles was felled by an arrow to die
Willingly he went to death with the facade of glory in his eyes
Shot dead by a coward in the vulnerability of his heel
And Menelaus believed Achilles armor his own to steal

Cunning Odysseus would receive the armor though undeserving
As a reward for shrewdness on behalf of Menelaus he was serving
Trembling as they were before the gods they served one and all
Filled as they were with an overpowering god-fearing awe

The god would not help Ajax as he had turned them all aside
Athena and the others were determined to wound his great pride
Through the traps of ate, she caused in him moral blindness
To be humiliated through an alliance of the gods of unkindness

Slaughtering cattle and sheep he became blood splattered
With all pretense of dignity lost and completely shattered
Having become a laughing stock and having lost his mind
In his shame all of his pride was gone with only shame left behind

There was seemingly only one option yet to be tasked
Standing there with thoughts of suicide ignobly asked
His wife begged him to think on this and think advisedly
To put aside thoughts of reputation aside wisely

Ajax had none of this in a ritual bath down on the seashore
As he sought ritual purity for a noble death and maybe more
Wedging his sword between two rocks on which he would impale
Such are the wages of wounded pride that hubris compelled

There would be no words imploring mercy for Ajax's family
That could swerve Menelaus' foul purpose on serve as homily
Until the wise and brave Odysseus would remind this as wrong
Honoring Ajax's dead body as ways honor must be strong

Rather burned on a funeral pyre or buried in sacred grave
The gods watch everything and only doing good would save
As Odysseus demanded Ajax had earned burning of the pyre
And that his reputation should not fall from deviated desire

Today still we remain creatures fixed on maintaining reputation
With all of our mistakes displayed and open to disputation
Such thoughts of what others think is but sheer illusion
The ruining and saving of this but a sort of mental confusion

None of which really adds up to any significant something
All of which really becomes the true equivalent of nothing
The only true reputation that matters is within one's heart
Is from this true dignity no person should ever willingly part

(c) December 14, 2021 Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved
Greek Revival Towns Along the Indiana Side of the Ohio River II 07122020

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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