Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Heights of Parnassus

Heights of Parnassus

Earlier this year I read the Iliad translated by Alexander Pope, and find his bouncy rhyming heroic couplets difficult to read.

I spent most of the past six months reading all the plays of Shakespeare, and find his tightly coiled blank verse easy and delightful to read.

Yesterday, I read Venus and Adonis, and today I continued reading the Odyssey translated by Alexander Pope. I see how Alexander may have been inspired by this narrative poem, as well as others, to use rhyming couplets.

Alexander should have instead followed the path Milton took in adopting pentameter blank verse as the best verse for composing a long narrative poem.

That is why I chose epic blank verse for composing the Hermead.

I am getting spoiled by Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, and Keats, because I am having a very difficult time reading most verse being written these days.

Contemporary poems are so fragmented, small, sparse, and incoherent, lacking both theme beyond feelings or epiphanies, and craft beyond scattered fragments of imagery.

It seems most poets are crowded among the weeds on a swampy plain, and few are climbing the heights of Parnassus to compose narrative poems that present the complexity of human character.


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