The twanging of the bow

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ κυκλοτερὲς μέγα τόξον ἔτεινε,
λίγξε βιός, νευρὴ δὲ μέγ᾽ ἴαχεν, ἆλτο δ᾽ ὀϊστὸς
ὀξυβελὴς καθ᾽ ὅμιλον ἐπιπτέσθαι μενεαίνων.

Iliad 4.124

But when he had stretched the great bow into a circle, the bow twanged, the string rang out loud and the sharp arrow leapt away eager to fly above the crowd.

In this passage from the Iliad, Pandarus the Trojan is trying a sneaky shot at Menelaus even though there is a temporary truce in place.

What I like about this passage is that you can hear the sounds that the bow and string make. The bow goes linxebios, the string goes megyachk. You can also feel the effort to stretch the bow and hear the arrow as it flies through the air. Homer can achieve so much through sound and metre.

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