Letter to Achilles


Letter to Achilles

Hold fast,
breathe deeply,
tend to your armor, o warrior.

Your heart and I
will likely pummel you with waves of emotions,
soak you in stormy moods,
chill you with ice storms of thoughtless words,
and no doubt already have.

Mother Nature will compete with me
as will the hands of fate,
conjuring weather and challenges that will call on you,
call on us,
to march into battle,
though sometimes wholly unprepared.

It is in the fighting,
the defending of the kingdom,
that you shall truly come to know me,
and to know yourself.

I know you’ve fought before,
so why fight again?
It is in your spirit to fight, to love,
and in doing so,
to live.

Enchantment has led you into battle,
but the choice to fight,
how to fight,
who to fight,
is your own.

I’m already on the field,
your Patroclus,
faithful with sword,
but more with heart.


About Marlen

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison has been teaching language, communication, composition, literature and gender/sexuality studies at universities in Asia, Europe and North America since 1997. Having published numerous articles and chapters on topics ranging from second language teaching to writing classroom pedagogies, he specializes in writing across the curriculum and English for academic purposes and is the co-editor of the new anthologies for American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA). Currently teaching for the Language Centre at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, he previously taught in both Japan and the English department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), USA where he also completed his PhD in Composition and TESOL. With a background in mental health counseling and an MA in Education and Human Development/ Counseling from The George Washington University, he is an inter-disciplinary instructor-researcher who works at the crossroads of humanities and social sciences to explore how both spoken and written language are shaped by cultures and identities.
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