My Attempt to Revive Epic Poetry

November 17, 2011
By Anonymous

May I succeed in an effort to rebirth forgotten acts, tongue long dead.*1
Muse,*2 listen to my implores, shall I be blessed *3 enough to take this task.
After all, merely archaic way shall do justice for her, hero she’s.*4
As she is righteous and decent, Rowena leMay forever be known.
Truth, as apparent as ice is cold, purity flows through her soul, untouched.

Cantos I:
Evil lord Raymond Day gazed*1 through his Watcher of All with loathing, endless hate.
Oracle Black Wing spoke, fearfully, after the Speakers exposed her role,
So now, he falcons*2 her every move, knowing all too well Black’s hit rate.
Here’s the prophet now; how dare he intrude the master’s brooding? Anyone’s guess
Valid and well it be. Bellowed he, *3
“By the lord, Black Wing! Do you ever knock anymore?”
“Uh, well, no, but-”
“By lord, you prophets are all so insensitive! Not everyone is so omniscent!”
“I’m not omniscient; I just...know a lot of trivial things... Like when someone is about to enter my


Know this well: even if you know everything, maybe you don’t act so. *1
Raymond, oh, bright red with rage, vivid white, aged eyebrows arched like beasts of prey,
“Wow, that was awfully big of you to apologize! You people are so bounderish!”
“I sincerely repent, sir, but can we discuss topics of my manners later?”
Angrily rolling his eyes, he said, *2
“Well, what is so significant that you think you have a right to just burst in?”
“They’ve revealed to me a way to stop her.”
Dumbstruck was Raymond; he prayed for this, hoping for fate to reconsider.
“Well... how?”
Oracle Black is, he knew the device would answer the problem, so he

Gestured towards*1 the pansophical Watcher of All, a stone orb that has *2
Two indentations, and shaped as hands; Raymond’s, for he is the only one
Destined to use it; built only for he, it was. Placing his hands in them,
Speaking the Wakening Tongue, he was transported to a different land.
And there Rowena leMay was, his ignorant archenemy. She sits
Lone, woods around her as far as anyone can see. Scents assail the nose:
The blunt, damp rot; late flowers, so very sweet, and lively, smoky bonfire,
Distant, for human abodes are behind her path by a long ways. Her brown,
Wavy hair blowing behind her as she sits in here, longing peace for her *3
Recent failure. Her attempt to perform on her violin while watched by

Grandmother ensued in screeches, flats, pain, and Aunt’s endless disappointment. *1
Now, she just wanted to lie in leaves, all in autumn colors, staring through
Lifeless branches at the endless, blue sky. Had she merely trusted herself,
She could’ve played so much better. Suddenly, a shrike flew down, hunting some
Mice. They then scattered, and he hesitated, failing to catch one of them.
Screeches of rage filled the forest. Dejected, he flew, eye in black streak saddened.
Just as that hunter retreated, a falcon, blue-gray and so regal in
Stature and purpose, and eyes black as onyx, descended like God’s wrath from
Its perch above, and clasping one wilier mouse, taking its life with a
Snap of its yellow claws. It did not remorse, nay stop for a blink of an *2

Eye. For with knowledge that he can, so he does. The shrike disbelieved, which robbed
Him of a meal. As his faithlessness forestalled success, what if he thought
All was forsaken? No prize, no trophy for himself? For all life long? The
Falcon, though, gains so repetitively, endlessly. What if he hunts the
Shrike next? If he can’t win, slaying the bird will be done with ease. *1


*1: Writing epics is a dead art, and here I am, trying to revive it.
*2: As I’ve said before, it’s traditional to mention the Muses in the introduction to your epic.
*3: Sometimes, “blessed” can be considered two syllables, and it’ll be treated as so here.
*4: “Archaic way:” Here, I’m trying to say that she’s too great a hero to just write a story about; only an epic will do. And yeah, I’m abusing contractions a bit here!

Cantos I:
*1: He isn’t literally looking at it; he’s using it. You’ll see about it in a moment.
*2: Falcons are known for their eyesight, so I thought I could “verb” it and use it as a synonym for “watching.”’ll see.
*3: The hexameter was bent here because someone was about to talk.
*1: Note 2 self: it’s very awkward to try to insert humor about the difference between knowledge and wisdom into an epic. Ah, well...
*2: Again, the line was cut short for dialogue.
*1: My sources tell me “towards” is two syllables, not one.
*2: Raymond Day’s “Watcher of All” isn’t a crystal ball or ring through which he sees anything; it’s something he puts his hands into, speaks some magic words, and he is, for lack of better words, “imagined” there by himself. So, his experience there is not limited to sight. Also, he doesn’t go there as an actual tangible being; it works somewhat like one-way glass or a hallogram.
*3: I don’t mean “for” as in going to, like “this gift is for Gamzee;” I mean, “for” as in because of.
*1: Her “grandmother” isn’t really her grandmother; she’s her father’s half-sister’s mom, and Aunt is the said half-sister. Rowena was orphaned when she was rather young, and her “Aunt” has been raising her, even though her parents barely knew the Aunt; they didn’t have much choice. That was supposed to be a cool subplot set in the past for the rest of the epic, but sadly, you’re not going to get to see it.
*2: There’s supposed to be a bit of symbolism here. Raymond Day, unlike Rowena, has an air of authority and arrogance to him, and he trusts himself to be good at what he does. Rowena, on the other hand, struggles with this, shown by the concert with Grandmother. So, yeah; she’s the shrike, Raymond is the falcon. Ta-da!
*1: This whole stanza is about extending the metaphor. There’s really not much to say...
Also, you may be wondering why Blackwing showed this to Raymond, because, after all, this symbolism should be only apparent to a reader, not a character in the story. Well, the Speakers, which are these mythological truly omniscient and omnipotent beings who give secret information to Prophets, told him her weakness was her lack of trust in herself. Well, instead of just telling this to Day, he tells him to activate the All-Watcher, and he’s transported to that moment, which alludes to the truth.

The author's comments:
Hey, Teen Ink: this is my first submision!
Heads up: this isn't an entire epic, just the beginning of one.
Also, it's supposed to be in dactylic hexameter, for those of you who know what that is.
Also, I need to find a replacement for "hit rate" that's two syllables.

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