Sunday, February 7, 2016

More of my favorite poets/writers

OVID poet of Rome was considered to be one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature.  He was enormously popular, but his last days saw him exiled, likely for some words written, or some over zealous cultural cleansing attempt by government.

Ovid is best known for the Metamorphoses which is mythological narrative written in verse, and is considered an epic.  He is also renowned for collections of love poetry.  His works remain an important source on classical mythology.

HOMER was an 8th century Greek poet.  Because of the difficulty of finding his historical person, and yet his enormous fame, his work as a compiler of both myth and event caused him to be considered a historical composite of perhaps numerous poets.  In the present historical detectives consider the words in the Iliad and Odyssey to read consistently as one voice.  He captured the epic event of the siege of Troy, the battles for Troy, and the largely mythic return home after the war. 

His work was not a statistically accurate work, of course, but I have no doubt it captured the mood, flavor, and ferocity of the Trojan war.  That Troy has been found and has features resembling portions of the descriptions in the epic poem, suggests that Homer was informed, and was valid observer.

VIRGIL wrote The Aeneid to tell the story of the Trojan War and the diaspora following, from the perspective of the Trojans.  Aeneas was his moral hero, who became the example, both negative and positive to demonstrate how Rome was founded, and who founded it.  The heroic beginnings even include the wars of Carthage and Rome, with a broken love compact.  The world of Aeneas was one where the divine guidance came from moral acts, and revenge of the gods came from the choices that were immoral. 

Virgil was one of the finest poets of his day.  The balance between reading the Aeneid and the Iliad and the Odyssey is fascinating and in the end you begin to admire both the Trojans and their descendants, as well as and as much as the Greeks and their allies. 

LORD DUNSANY wrote poetry, essays, prose, and even articles about Chess and Big Game Hunting.  His writing in every form was lush, informative, and perfect.  I've written a great deal about Lord Dunsany, so I'll just content myself to being brief... 

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