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I was just reading a blog about poetry and why we sometimes don’t like it at all.  As usual, I read the comments after it too.  There were many different points brought up and agreements with the points made in the post.  I felt the need to reply to one of those making comments about His point of view.  He mentioned having read Beowolf in school and liking it’s alliterative structure.  Beowolf is an epic poem form.  A story told in stanzas, as it were.  

I too, have read Beowolf, and other epic poems, and loved them.  Epic poems are stories about great adventures and important events in nations histories.  I haven’t read an epic poem that was written in Our age about Our history.

Oh there have been songs written about important events, and they even rhyme for the most part, but they aren’t in the Epic genre.  They are still relatively short in form and thus short in detail as well.  I think it’s about time we had some epic poetry about events in our day and age.  I hearby challenge all poetry writers, or aspiring poetry writers, to read some poems that are considered  in the “Epic” genre (the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, for instance), and write one of the same quality about events in our day.

No particular subject, or theme, but only that which You feel is important on a grand scale.  Things that made a real difference in the course of our history.  You can go back as far as WWI, because I don’t recall any epic poems being written about that subject, though perhaps I’m wrong, and I just missed it (If I have, please feel free to bring it to my attention).  Pick a subject, do some research, and create a moving and evocative tale in epic poem style.  It should Rhyme or be alliterative, at least.

I will take up my own challenge and work on one too.  There’s no real time limit on this, but wouldn’t it be nice if we saw some New epic poetry soon?  Perhaps within the year?


Thank you to NASA for the photo of the Apollo 11 launch watchers in “The Commons”, via Flickr

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

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  1. I never knew about Beowulf and what it was about or about this style of narration.
    And the challenge you’re proposing? I think it’s an epic idea 😉
    Seriously though, I might just give it a shot and immerse myself in epic poetry. I think it’s a great goal for poets of this age.
    Thank you,

  2. Thank you! I too loved Beowulf. Heany’s translation is a good one to compare to the earlier writings. I don’t know why a newer translation since Heany’s was written. I suspect it was to stroke the ego of the translator, but that might just because I don’t like the guy, so I won’t mention his name. 🙂

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