Christopher B. Nelson, the president of St. Johns College, Annapolis, writes a lovely essay on Homer for The New Criterion. I should say that it is a re-print of his convocation address at St. John’s College. It is wonderful, read the whole thing. Just a taste: "Surely there is not a more powerful book anywhere than the Iliad with which to examine the virtues and vices, the beauty and terrible power for good or ill, of men with chests. So the Iliad, and, later, the Odyssey form a good beginning to philosophy; they ask you to confront powerful aspects of your nature on your first day at the college—aspects that often function independently of your rational capacity. You are asked to face the spirited element within you and to wonder whether it can or should be shaped and tempered by your reason."