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A suggestion

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:45 pm
by Saturn
:idea: Despondence's ode on Keats has similar ideas to one I wrote years ago - the idea of the poet living now in Elysium.

One further possibility - Vergil, in the sixth book of the Aeneid, has the souls reposing on Lethe's banks being those of people not yet born, and in the poem, reels of a potted history of the great Roman personalities.

Perhaps the same could be done for the great poets of the age.

How about taking a pilgrim on a tour of the Elysian fields in a Dantesque way, pointing out different poets and their life after death on the blessed shores of Lethe. You could give a short epitaph on each one, telling how they died and their place in the scroll of fame.

I know this sounds all a bit ambitious, but my mind is always looking for the epic possibilities of poetry.
I'd love to write about it myself if I had the time.

By the way, does anyone actually know how to pronounce Lethe ?

Is it leethee, or just as it is spelled?

Also on Arcadia/Arcady. The Arcady spelling is a poeticism.

Arcadia in the Peloponnesse was a fairly isolated, somewhat backward region in the ancient world which was proverbial for it's rustic simplicity, great beauty, and of course for being the haunt of the great god Pan.

Re: A suggestion

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:34 pm
by Despondence
Stephen Saturn wrote:How about taking a pilgrim on a tour of the Elysian fields in a Dantesque way, pointing out different poets and their life after death on the blessed shores of Lethe.

Have to admit that's an absolutely brilliant idea; I'd sure love to read it! I'm afraid, however, that I'm really not equal to the task... :( Apart from my wanting poetic skills, I'd need to read up on a lot for such an undertaking - which I'd gladly do, but for my time-consuming day job... But thanks for the suggestion, I'll sure keep it in mind. (meanwhile, why don't you give it a shot!)

Difficulty of poetry

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:31 pm
by Saturn
You flatter me too much by suggesting that I write the Elysian Fields poem. I probably could write it, given enough time and study, but I feel it is a somewhat overused idea, a worthy example of which is Shelley's final unfinished poem 'The Triumph of Life', which has a more Shelleyan political purpose.

The longest poem I've written is a version of Romeo and Juliet in over 400 stanzas of quatrains, which was more of a test of endurance than poetic skill. This I wrote when I was 21-22 and is full of the most ridiculous archaisms, but I'm rather fond of it myself.
It was based of course on the play, but I used the Baz Lurhman film's narrative structure for my version, with Romeo awakening before Juliet's death scene.

I have great ambitions to write more epic poems, one I have been meditating is the Trojan War story from the point of view of Akhilles friend (not as the Romans believed his lover, or as in the recent film his cousin) Patroklus, who is much overlooked as the lynchpin which unleashes the terrible wrath of Akhilles.

Epic is the one type of poetry that has become almost completely extinct, the only exception being transaltions of the Greek and Roman Classics of which there are numerous in the past century alone.

"Epic is King"

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 3:03 pm
by Matt
I really like epic poems too. As Despondence said I also would need to read a lot more if i were to pull such a challenge off. But as I have said i hopefully have (provided I get the grades-My Keats exam is on Tuesday!) four years of University life in front of me where I can immerse myself in poetry and the classics.

Maybe then my story of Pan will evolve into something more than just a clumsily worded story about sheep. Maybe not.