A Dumb Exercise in Misery

         After months of arduously refining my poetics, there are still many subtle fields of necessary detail I’m yet to cover. The major — and hardest — is that is which most revered across our Art. The production of epics, akin to those of Dante’s Divine Comedy, or Homer’s Iliad, requires a level of poetic awareness that transcends mere foreshadowing. To tell an anchoring and complex story through verse, metered or not, is a huge challenge on its own. But I, your Johníssimo, have an innate hunger for my own chaos and misery, so I will try to craft myself an impish epic. Nothing the likes of those aforementioned. If I could write like Dante, I would be the first in living History to do so.

         My respect for these authors is abound, they are much like guides — maybe even parents — to the way I inspect the elements of my reality, but it only grew once I started writing in their forms. Yikes, it is truly so hard, but also, so incredibly fun. Every bit of it is challenging, and awesome. I feel a bit like a young child when I start things like these.

Even though I’m not good at it, nor close to good, I hope to improve and ease-out my struggles with it as I create it. If nothing else, at least, I can feel a bit less lonely while I do it.

The story, as far as I’ve etched it, follows Luriam, a Soldier who ventures into Cocytus in a quest to discover the Tablet of Paximus, a Hermetic Artefact that erases ones selected memories if that soul lays itself against the surface of marble.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 15.12.41
1st Pre-Canto

So far, the production of the Cantos has been the most streamline process of all, as they are sung by characters; and I have some ease with lyrical compositions.

The Pre-Cantos, scenario settings and outer-story elements are harder to manipulate in verse, and that’s where I have most difficulty. So far, I haven’t been able to maintain a structural verse identity without sacrificing some information. Simultaneously, I don’t want pre-cantos to be overly expositive and lack emotional approaches to the story.

I’ve found some options to counter this: shifting narration from Cocytus to Narya (Luriam’s consort), and allow emotional draws into the expositive verses; or give agency to Cocytus himself, melding with how the shades behave towards Luriam.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 15.14.11
A small example of Canto I, The Wail of a Solitary Shade

Despite heavily inspired by Greek Mythos, this little project has given me the chance for some original world building, something I haven’t truly done before, but always had an ache for. Places the Hymeron (The First Gate of Cocytus), don’t exist within the actual mythos, and serve as stages for the various Cantos.

Dante himself was also fond of introducing prose into some of his versed works, which is something appealing, as it does give you a glimpse of freedom in story-telling.

These poetic narratives; they feel very autonomous, like they write themselves, and you exist only to find the words. It is odd, but again, so much fun.

I plan of posting the Pre-Cantos and Cantos once they are finished individually, this beginning is specially hard, because it lays the path for everything else, but it should pick-up in pace soon enough.

Tell me what you think!, is this just another dumb exercise in misery?


Published by


A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

26 thoughts on “A Dumb Exercise in Misery”

  1. Keep going! This is a fascinating exercise indeed! I have one poem that I will publish in my second forthcoming book which is in the epic tradition. I intend to work on the next sections in the future. Maybe someday I will be able to bring them all together lol. I do love what you have going on here, so don’t stop.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Man, that is something really something worth looking up to. I too, am a great fan of Greek and Roman mythology, though I have better understanding for Hindu mythology and yet making it to an epic is something I can’t even dream of. Keep up the work, also please tell me from where should I learn and study more poetry I can’t seem to find anything suitable and am still struggling as a poet. Do analyze my poems too, criticism is welcome. Again, keep it up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heyo! Thank you so much for your abound kindness and good-spirit! I’m also very interested in Hindu (and other Indiabornes) mythologies. The Oriental World is beyond fascinating to me, especially because of my West-central education.
      Chinese mythos is also incredibly inspiring, and so is Japan’s Shinto.

      But!, I derive. If I had a million lifetimes to write, I would write them all.

      I will gladly break apart your composing style and fashion you some hand tailored advice to the best of my knowledge, if that is what you wish, Ive done so with many bloggers now. I only do it when requested as to not overstep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always. You dunk your spirit in a vat of ink, wring it out, and the drips as it dries in the sun on a line become words that move like wind drying clothes. Ah!

    I wish I had a copy of my first poem. I’d send it to you! It was 72 stanzas long. About a dragon in a cave and the knight who got eaten, then the squire who also got eaten, & the princess who couldn’t understand why they were harassing her draconic husband during breakfast. Not exactly a book length epic, but I was 13 and it told a cohesive tale in very strict technical structure.

    Alas! The 3rd ex husband burned it with all 15 volumes of my lifetime’s poetic production to that point!!!!

    But it’s good. My methods have become more relaxed and intuitive, in consequence.

    Your work always inspires. Thanks, Johnny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Toad!,
      I’m sure it was a fascinating story. I was always highly entranced by Dragons and Wyverns. Call me pebble-minded, but I find them the most malleable and engaging mythos creatures! I mean, look at the variety! Wind-Serpents, Drakes, Protos, there are just so many options.

      It truly is a pommel strike to have your work desecrated in such ways. I hope the metaphoric ash of your works may transfer their heat into your soul, and fuel your future oeuvre.

      As always, Toad, adore you much. Thank you.


  4. Never think its dumb. Its always a writers fallacy. That if all writers always think that way, then it will never been written. So to think, you will always edit to re edit and have the line thought over and write as you go. And yes, it is not dumb as you might think.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your poetry us far advanced than I.
    Yet would like to share a thought I have about writing or any other art.
    “When I look at other artist..I can see they have more skill then I..that can discourage me….yet I realize thus too…no one has my voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All the best for the project Johnny.
    And about the excercise – to write an epic is always a dumb excercise in misery, just as living a life is – its only that the excercise, the dumbness ,the misery , the dreams and the product is excruciatingly beautiful and enjoyable. I think you get my point.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi. Thanks too for your long support. Appreciate it. Your Writings too. To and from within Our World Legends i, Shiro may go… many Times and Places in deed. Yet an Epic… Go Johnny… Go. Johnny does it… Be All good. Indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ache for a vistage of any skin rosy or pallid,… arrested in the first line. I like the references and intricate detailing you use while penning poem, it’s more of a craftsman’s work who chisels the corners, smoothens it out. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.