My Name Is Homer And I'm Here To Say
My Poetry Spins Out A Certain Way

Lee Butterman

1200BCE Greek tax records jotted in wet clay??
Palace → kiln 🔥 😱
climate refugees precipitate Late Bronze Age collapse
≈ no writing 1200BCE-700BCE

minimal writing in Ancient Greece
Sand?? 🏖
Wax 🐝 🚛
Clay 🚛 🏋️
Stone ⛏️ 🚛 🏋️
Skins 🐑 🚛
Papyrus 🌾 ☂️ ⌛ 🇪🇬 🤑
In 407 BCE,
two (2!) sheets of papyrus
for expense records (20g papyrus???)
cost 1⅓ drachma, 6g silver,
the daily salary of an architect.

Gold = $50/gram
2 A3 pages? = 1/4 m²
Photocopy paper weighs 80 g/m²
Architect salary of $1000/day?
reading/writing is Big Data
if paper = gold
meanwhile, Greeks stay in the hills 🐐🌄
singing country music like in India

अक्षितम् श्रवस् ákṣitam śrávas
κλέος ἄφθιτον kléos áphthiton
𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙚
The ῥαψῳδός is sewing songs
(like patchwork fabric)
in Dactylic Hexameter
ἦμος δ' ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς
êmos d' ērigéneia phánē rhododáktulos Ēṓs
When rosy-fingered Dawn appeared early-born
wine-dark, literally wine-faced: "the wine-dark sea"
θῖν’ ἔφ’ ἁλὸς πολιῆς, ὁρόων ἐπὶ οἴνοπα πόντον
...on the shore of the grey salt sea, looking over the wine-dark ocean
τὸν δ᾽ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων
To him, then, in reply, spoke King Agamemnon
10 years of war in the Iliad
people do not write anything
except someone pressing a seal maybe
"Oral-formulaic poetry"

what if Mad Libs, but, serious business
Q: How do we have an authoritative Homer text???

Iliad is 24 books
Odyssey is 24 books
each 2hr to sing
📼 Bosnian folk singers in the 1930s changed their stories very substantially between retellings! Hard to piece together from different nights!
Skimming last night's poem???

You read as fast as you talk!
No one reads silently!
Silent reading is
Julius Caesar's
One Weird Trick That Is A
Military Tactical Advantage
vs reading aloud
for spies to hear
How do we have an authoritative Homer text???
Did Homer have an authoritative Homer text???

☑ this suits the mood tonight
☑ we, together, make our story
☒ respect The Book!
☒ page 48 does Not say that
My Name Is Homer And I'm Here To Say
My Poetry Spins Out A Certain Way

Lee Butterman