While a student in the library at Washington State University in 1986, I read at least a hundred academic books written about the themes and techniques of the epic poem. As I stood there looking at all the rows of academic books that far outnumbered actual epic poems, I wondered to myself, if all these critics were so knowledgeable about epic poetry, why had none of them ever written an epic?
I decided to write an epic, but it took 25 years till 2011 for me to discover the best type of character I want to depict in a metamodernist conceptual epic of American values.
Over the years I wondered, what heroes are there in the world worthy of depiction in an epic that encapsulates the values of a national culture?
The warrior who kills to defend his clan?
The king who organizes tribes?
The prophet who teaches people how to better understand and control human behavior to give life rather than take life?
The detective who follows clues to catch the killers and cheaters who hurt other people?
While reading the Western Canon by Harold Bloom one hot summer afternoon by the pool on 16 July 2011, I realized what type of people have been the most consistent over the millennia in designing the concepts basic to the development of our civilization were the philosophers and scientists who investigate the world, revealing its deepest secrets in illustrations, formulas, and words.
Since that day, I have been writing the Hermead, my epic about philosophers and scientists. I love dreaming their lives and thoughts in elegant verse.
Writing an epic is like climbing a gigantic mountain of ice and howling winds to find a single diamond hidden in the snow that shines with the light of the universe.
So far I have written 125,000 lines of blank verse about philosophers from Hermes to Thales to Plato to Lucretius covering more than 600 years in the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic ages of Greece and the early Republic of Rome.
Though the Hermead presents ancient Greek philosophers as cultural heroes, the Hermead is essentially an American epic because the concepts those philosophers developed over 2000 years ago still form the foundation on which our civilization is based. It was their concepts of geometry and physics which have ultimately lead to the incredible developments in technology over the past 200 years.
I plan to continue writing about alchemists and the earliest scientists in the Renaissance all the way up to the current age. I write as much as I can in the evening while working a full-time job as a cartographer.
I could write a lot more if I did not have to work all day but, because I self-published this epic after it was rejected by more than 30 publishers, I do not qualify for any grants such as the National Endowment of the Arts or the Guggenheim. Nevertheless, I will write as many tales of philosophers and scientists as I am able before death snuffs out the flame of inspiration.
I am currently editing volumes 5 and 6 out of 7 volumes, while volumes 1-4 are available for sale in four editions each which are listed on this page:
I hope you all enjoy reading the Hermead as much as I have enjoyed writing these tales of human experience in discovering the nature of the universe.
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