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Ode To Verse

From Yvonne Anderson: “I think you never hoped to see / A poem on this blog by me. / Although the topic here’s Spec Fic, / My conscience feels no twinge or prick. …”
| Dec 26, 2012 | No comments |

achillesambrosianiliad-tm I think you never hoped to see
A poem on this blog by me.

Although the topic here’s Spec Fic,
My conscience feels no twinge or prick.


Were not speculative tales of old
Through timeless epic verses told

By bards who trod rough highways lone
To sing before a fiefdom’s throne?

Let’s see…

There’s Homer, penning legends bold.
And Gilgamesh’s story told

By ancient unnamed poet’s quill
Whose great words students study still.

I’ll admit…

Beowulf put me to sleep,
Though others find it rich and deep.

Virgil’s Aeneid goes way back,
But with my Latin knowledge-lack

I must, alas, forego the pleasure
Of examining that classic treasure.

For a change of pace:

Shahnameh, “The Book of Kings,”mahabharata-war-tm
Tells Persian tales of many things.

The work’s the Iranian national poem.
With 60,000 verses, it’s quite a tome.

Did this inspire Rushdie?

The Sanskrit epic Mahabharata
Is hard to rhyme with if you wanta

Fit its name into this ditty.
Unless you’re feeling very witty.

Moving on…

All poems
Have to rhyme.

Is optional.

Free verse
can be visual.
A vivid,
visceral hurricane
to blow the reader away.

Yet the saga in verse,
Proud precursor of the epic speculative tale,
Withers in the relentless glare of a fatal, scorching neglect.
A traveling bard on his knees,
Too weak to stand,
Too dry to sing,
While around him,
Fat prose-mongers sip their coffee
Then take a cooling dip in their lapping pool of words,
Swimming in words,
Splashing them on all who venture near.

Poetry sits in a corner,
Alone and maligned,gilgameshishtar-tm
Its sweeping dramas silent.
Its soaring grandeur grounded,
Wings clipped by a dearth of eyes,
Voice silenced by a ringing deafness.

Have writers no patience for it?

Have poets have no readers for it?

O gallant ode,
Will you arise one day to warble at the dawn?
Or will you remain a musty book
On a dusty shelf

I think that I shall never see
A TV show lovely as thee.

Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world. Her first novel, The Story in the Stars, debuted in June 2011 and is an ACFW Carol Award finalist in the Speculative Fiction category. Her second, Words in the Wind, released August 1, 2012. Two additional titles will complete this Gateway to Gannah series. She is contest administrator for Novel Rocket's Launch Pad Contest for unpublished novelists. You may follow her wise words on the blog YsWords, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

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I actually loved classic lit because so much of it was epic and grand…

Tessa Stockton

Love it, Yvonne! Very clever.

Rebecca LuElla Miller

What fun! Really well done, Yvonne. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think of Tolkien and Lord of the Rings. No wonder he incorporated so much poetry into his work.

I do think poetry has been on the outs for . . . well, most of my life. I blame this in part to obscure imagery. Once upon a time, a poet could utilize a body of common knowledge and experience and draw out deeper meaning in the process. As our knowledge base has fractured, I think poetry has become less universal.

I also blame it on a generation of poets who thought less about beauty and truth than about self-expression. Lo and behold, there isn’t a great audience for navel gazing. 😆


Paul Lee

This is an interesting topic, and I have conflicting thoughts about it.  On the one hand, poetry truly is a great form of literature, and the great ancient epics were told in verse.  Poetic effects are powerful even in prose, or for that matter in dialog in film.  Poetry can condense meaning and hold layers of suggestion, which is much more difficult for prose to do.
However, if we lament poetry’s fall from popularity too much, what does that say about the legitimacy of the blockbuster movies and SF/F novels that we value?  How can we avoid being stuffy literary critics?  In many ways, the popular artforms are more like the ancient epics than the “literary” forms.


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