Monday, 16 November 2009

Notebooks are Killing the Epic

I've been writing poetry in the last few days, getting it down in one of those tatty notebooks that are the inevitable home of all poetry while it's being written. Though it does raise one obvious point. The great greek and roman writers were notorious for epic poetry, right? But they didn't have tatty notebooks, only stone, clay tablets, and papyrus. Even for the likes of Milton, Byron, etc. paper and writing materials would have been quite expensive, and again- epic poetry. So, has the cheap A5 notebook killed off epic poetry?

I've also started a short story about antiques. Well, sort of antiques. Well, more the sort of magic thingamies that adventures seem to pick up, really. But also antiques. Mostly because a friend mentioned that he was writing a story about antiques, and I wanted to see how different the two would end up from that one shared point. Possibly I should look around for some of those zines that use themes for short stories, and see what I can do with those.

I currently have more pieces of work submitted than at any other time ever. Now, if only that came to double figures.

At some point in the next few days I must remember to print out a spare copy of my PhD, so that I've got something to refer to in the viva. Presumably, that's going to mean all the fun with my various printers that I had the first time around. (They seem to have something against medieval history).

6 comments:

Christina said...

"So, has the cheap A5 notebook killed off epic poetry?"

Good point. I had a few English teachers that would have liked this post.

Demon Hunter said...

Even if you don't find a zine that uses themes, you can sell it practically anywhere. :-D

I've seen some expensive antiques at flea markets for some reason. Go figure.

stu said...

To be honest, Christina, I actually suspect it has something to do with no poets liking formal poetry enough to produce thousands of lines of iambic pentameter, but I'd like to think it's the notebooks.

Demon Hunter- I'm looking for zines with themes more because I suspect I've suddenly acquired an urge to write things where someone else gives me the starting point. It's a nice challenge.

Beth. said...

I once wrote 10-15 pages of iamb in a crappy little notebook...never got any further though and it wasn't quite formal but attempting to be!
I was aided by Stephen Fry and The Ode Less Travelled.

The word epic makes me want to be able to do it but...I just don't think it'll ever happen, I can't build plot, its quite sad really!!

stu said...

I've got a copy of that. For me, it brought out a tendency to write villanelles.

Lisa Damian said...

None of my own poetry has ever bordered on epic, but I doubt it has anything to do with the notebooks. I certainly have enough of them filled to take up a lot of space on my bookshelves though.

I like the theme idea. It reminds me of writing prompts. I've held writing workshops where we use prompts just to get the creative juices flowing. My writing group has a blog where we sometimes post prompts. It's interesting to see the variety of material that people come up with when starting with the same simple theme or idea.