Write an Epic Poem!
Somewhere in medias res between Iliad and Odyssey, betwixt Gilgamesh and Beowulf, a lonely hero (of noble character) trods a path constructed of dactylic hexameter. Clothed with epic simile (selected from a lengthy catalog), he fights good and evil, with angels and demons, and after a harrowing descent into the underworld, with superhuman feats (fueled, no doubt, by a wee bit of supernatural intervention) rescues the great people from otherwise certain doom.
That, in a nutshell, is epic poetry. To illustrate, we’ve created this fun, colorful Epic Infographic you can share with your friends, your classroom, or your teacher. (Be the first to use the word brobdingnagian—which has no particular relation to the epic except in its own prodigious size—in a sentence, and you might get bonus points on your next epic poetry exam.)
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Post and infographic by Will Willingham
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland
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