What makes an epic poem
#1
From:
http://www.pigpenpoetry.com/thread-23396...#pid252379

(04-19-2021, 08:17 AM)Majestic Sun Wrote:  
Do epic poems have to have some kind of fantasy aspect at all? What about modern epic poems? I think times have changed. 



I wanted to respond but didn't want to derail the thread as it is in a workshop forum.  I have pasted the description of an epic poem from the "Glossary of Poetic Terms" section and added my own opinion below.  Most of my understanding about what an epic poem must be is founded on the old originals like Beowulf and The Odyssey.  I was wondering if there is such a thing as the modern epic, and how it might differ from the classic epic poem??


From http://www.pigpenpoetry.com/thread-6762.html :

"Epic
A long narrative poem in which a heroic protagonist engages in an action of great mythic or historical significance. Notable English epics include Beowulf, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (which follows the virtuous exploits of 12 knights in the service of the mythical King Arthur), and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which dramatizes Satan’s fall from Heaven and humankind’s subsequent alienation from God in the Garden of Eden."



Merely being long does not make a poem an epic. "Epic" does not refer to the length of the poem, but rather it's content.  While an epic poem can be long, it also has to have other characteristics as well. An epic poem tells a story about supernatural forces like a larger than life hero (more often than not the hero tends to be part god, or have special abilities like superior strength etc.) who has great courage and does great feats or deeds of daring (like battling a dragon or saving an entire country or even the world from a supernatural threat).  The language of an epic poem is formal and told in a way that makes every detail sound important. Even in the modern day, with modern language and style, the poem would need to have some sort of story element where the protagonist and antagonist are a bit supernatural, and either show great courage or learn some kind of lesson or save the world etc.   

At least, this is my understanding of the matter.  

Is there such a thing as "the modern epic"?  And how does it differ from the classic model?
The Soufflé isn’t the soufflé; the soufflé is the recipe. --Clara 
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#2
As the odyssey is an epic poem, ulysses might be modern epic? Or 'oh brother where out thou' if they could be formatted into poems
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
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#3
ULYSSES you win the cigar!
The Cantos of Ezra Pound, Williams' Paterson, The Maximus Poems of Charles Olson spring to mind.
Tarkovsky's Satantango (film)
Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz (film)
David Bowie's Outside
this is fun, but maybe not helpful?
"Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision."  Dylan Thomas
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#4
Well, thanks to the question I asked, I know have some ideas of what makes an epic poem an epic, @TranquillityBase I well look into those films you mentioned.
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