Callinus of Ephesos’ poetry

The poem by Callinus of Ephesos expresses the poet’s personal feelings and yet he talks about universal themes on subjects like war, honor and death.  The poem is about encouraging the Greek soldiers to stand up and fight courageously against the enemy; in doing so these soldiers will be able to achieve the highest honor and reward and will be forever loved by the Greek people.  The poem also encapsulates some important Greek concepts: that of kleos as a reward from fighting and the idea of nostos, the return home of a Greek hero/warrior.

I like the poem very much because I feel that it is so sincere; if this is spoken by a very charismatic speaker it would be very striking to hear the sense of immediacy that is innate in the poem and it would come out to be very convincing and inspiring.  While the poem rouses the Greek citizens to fight, I don’t feel any aristocratic tone in his lines, just professional and trustworthy attitude.  I am also amazed of the poet’s art of the rhetoric: his style in argumentation and persuasion is logical – the poet does not readily speaks his mind needlessly but he sets out to explain first the well-defined situation and the stakes that are associated with it before stating the clear and concrete heart of his argument.  Because of this, the poem becomes compelling to its readers.


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