Rebuilding the Army: Tactical Squad Une

October 11, 2009

Well, one Troop choice done, two more to go.  This should do for the ‘Codex’ configuration squad (meaning a Flamer as a special weapon, and a RPG for both anti-tank and anti-personnel).

Yay.  All I need now is a Rhino to give the squad mobility.


Left to Right: Brother Borjano, Brother Yanii, Veteran Sergeant Sant Une, Brother Alphard, Brother Michelus, Brother Canard


Left to Right: Brother Endrian, Brother Falgo, Brother Gon Loong, Brother Haldrake, Brother Ionius

I never really expected repainting all of my army (so far) to be easy, but it’s been a hilarious uphill climb for just one tactical squad.  The final part, where I highlighted each marine, actually caused undue amounts of pain, as my fingers seized up due to the strain of holding the point 1 paint brush.  ^^;

The observant will have noticed the fact that, aside from the Sergeant (which I converted), all of the marines come from the Assault on Black Reach box set.  I decided to keep the models from that set in a single squad so I could keep track of them.

Now to start on the second squad.  Sheesh, I wonder how long THAT would take, as it’s starting to get hectic, what with my classes and all.


Summative: To an Athlete Dying Young

October 2, 2009

(This is the one-page assignment for my class tomorrow in Poetics)

In this paper I take a look at one of A.E. Housman’s poems, ‘To an Athlete Dying Young’, and the possible interpretations I, as a reader, might gain from it.  A brief glance at the title of the poem gives an idea to what the subject matter is: Death, specifically the early death of an unnamed athlete.  Composed of twenty-eight lines, the poem follows an AA BB rhyming structure, with each line containing eight syllables each.  Although it uses traditional poetic devices such as personification and apostrophe, the language used is simple and straightforward, and shouldn’t be too much of a problem even for a casual poetry reader to understand.

The most visible theme of the poem is the musings on the issue of Death.  It’s something that many of us wondered about.  There is a very visceral fear attached to the thought of ceasing to be, as when you die, that’s literally the end of things for a person (as far as we mere mortals know of).  Juxtaposed upon this is another theme, something that many of us fear as well: dying young.

It is considered a great tragedy these days to learn of a death of someone who had died, as many consider it a great…waste.  Lost potential, one might say as, if the deceased was particularly gifted, it could no longer be ascertained what heights he or she could have reached and what the person could have accomplished had they lived.  Housman, through the narrator of the poem, however seems to give a different view of the passing of one so young and so full of promise: an early death, at the height of one’s glory, could be considered a blessing.

Why is this so?  Starting at the ninth line, one already gets a glimmer of an idea why: “From fields where glory does not stay/And early though the laurel grows/It withers quicker than the rose.”  Even someone with a passing interest in sports will see that these lines speak of its constantly-changing landscape, where records are made and broken in quick order, and the fame of athletes rise and fall depending on how well they perform.  After all, one wants to be remembered as a champion, instead of a washed-out has-been.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the speaker of the poem doesn’t view the passing of his friend with sadness, but a strange kind of relief, or even slight jealousy.  The lines “Now you will not swell the rout/Of lads that wore their honours out/Runners whom renown outran/And the name died before the man” makes it rather clear that, indeed, death so early yet at one’s peak seems preferable to the ignominious fate that awaits athletes general, whose claim to fame is tied to records that are all-too easily broken.  But those who died young, they gain a strange type of immortality, their reputations untarnished by age and viewed with misty-eyed nostalgia by the ones they leave behind (“And hold to the low lintel up/The still-defended challenge-cup”).