Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Story Thus Far

Must start this way; as with my other blog, I've jumped on this bandwagon quite late in the history of blogging. More importantly, it's [hopefully] late in the history of the subject, which is my epic poem.

I started it properly in early March 1997, though some of the basics arose in 1991. I will be posting some selections of the poem, plus news updates, critiques I've received, and maybe a little ranting. In the unlikely event that it gets published (or even if I just finish it, for that matter) I'll have a handy place to document the progress.

The poem is a loosely-construed blank verse. It's roughly 400 single-spaced pages, depending on how one counts it. I'd guess that it's about 10,000 lines, but that's just a guess. It concerns a narrative we all know about, but it's been reworked to suit my own purposes. Not so different from Tom Stoppard did with Hamlet for his play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

More to come.

Also: in case it's not clear, I used the word "Song" in the blog's title not because there's any music involved, but because epics have traditionally been thought of as songs. The idea makes me feel good.

Here are the first few lines:

Won't someone tell me, please, the narrative
of their ordeals, and such beatific stuff
as how they’d lived and died; transformed; and came
around like living, dancing boomerangs
to find again their serried ranks and roles?
O tell me, brain, my antic attic Muse --
assist me as we share their story. Did
an unchecked vengeance make them suffer? Their
beseeching voices claim as much, and cry
for my attention. Me? I yearn for a song
that no one's sung before, and wish that it
would teach me; make me clever; let me try
to make it new. This pen, mundane, becomes
a votive taper – by its glow I will
a novel tale beverse, wrought without
a hero, filled with yet bereft of foes
and wrongs.

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