Tag Archives: Poetry

why vowels cost money on The Wheel of Fortune

Since I’m creating an epic (The Age of Pisces), I want to learn all I can about the epic form. What is an epic, exactly? What features turn a non-epic or sub-epic into an epic? This is a matter of … Continue reading

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Calliope? Is that you?

Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and … Continue reading

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some remarks on my colleague: William Shakespeare

A couple of days ago I finished reading Shakespeare—that is, all of his collected works: 37 plays, 154 sonnets. In doing so I also checked off volumes 26 and 27 of Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World (for the … Continue reading

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channeling a master

Today something a bit different. Recently, while studying Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P. J. Corbett, I’ve been doing exercises in copying and imitation. The copying has been straight-up literal copying, in longhand, of paragraphs written by … Continue reading

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and for my next trick: poetry

In the library of my late friend Harvey Burt was a volume called The Poet’s Handbook by Clement Wood. I borrowed the book for a while to read and take notes, for it seemed to answer, in a clear, direct … Continue reading

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truth and fiction

The man crossed the street. Question: is the above sentence fiction or nonfiction? There’s no way of knowing, is there. Which man? Which street? When? We’d need to know these things before hazarding an answer. Bob Carlson crossed 5th Avenue … Continue reading

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on knowing what you’re doing

Even though I’m a writer and have always considered myself such, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve taken any interest in literary criticism. My lack of interest was probably due to a number of perceptions I … Continue reading

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The Epic Cosmos edited by Larry Allums

The Epic Cosmos by James Larry Allums My rating: 5 of 5 stars Looking at epics ancient and modern, each of the 12 essays in this collection offers deeply considered insights into the significance of epic as a literary form. … Continue reading

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know thy genre—if you can

One of my ongoing avenues of research and thought is the topic of genre. I got into this topic as a result of reading Robert McKee’s book Story, in which he stresses the need for a writer to know the … Continue reading

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Story by Robert McKee

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee My rating: 5 of 5 stars If you’re a writer of drama or fiction, you need to master these rules before you consider breaking them. I knew from … Continue reading

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