LETTER : Homeric reflections of war

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ALLISON Pearson's ear for the Homeric echo in Churchill's speech following the Battle of Alamein is acute: "A bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers" ("The truth bombed out again", 7 May).

In Christopher Logue's translation of Book 19 of the Iliad at line 399 we read: "Though it is noon, the helmet screams against the light; /Scratches the eye; so violent it can be seen /Across three thousand years." Or perhaps this is a Churchillian echo finding its way into Homer: "those words rumbling out of the teak chapel on the sideboard" absorbed by the teenage Logue and resurfacing 25 years later?

Ian Whittingham

South Darenth, Kent

Kent.

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