So, bear with me here; I know it’s not great, but I was mashing my brain against this first Canto without any true necessity. Poems like these require a certain heaviness I cannot fully achieve (just yet), my poetry still draws much from my own levity as a person. That being said, the form is still ridiculously volatile, and I apologise for that. So far, The Shades are mostly lyrical, Cocytus is mostly expositive and Luriam is mostly confessional. I would like to keep it that way, but still need to work on their cohesion and how the styles transition. Regardless, if you have any tips, I’m all ears!
Thank you for reading!
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.
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.
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?
(I work as a carpenter) — today, I was installing a smooth-stone tabletop and noticed that the colour and design of that stone was named “Thebes Black“. It is interesting what the mind can create when it takes a vision by the hand and sprints with it. Shortly after, during my lunchtime, I wrote this composition based on the name of that stone.
It wasn’t made with full-fledge, hence why it is much shorter that I would ideally make it, but I hope you enjoy it, even if just a bit. (perhaps just the smile of reading how it was inspired by such a mundane thing)
Anyone attentive to my poetics will realise they have been quite volatile lately, becoming more robust and curated, and perhaps a bit more modernistic. Most of these, I wouldn’t truly call poems, but rather, short essays on sound. This one specifically attempts to melodiously replicate the abrupt awareness that waves with common anxiety.
I work hard to hone my ability to compose, and that also involves a lot of experimenting, along with poems that pave such progress. Right now, my topmost priority is to fabricate sound that can also be transmissible of emotion, a luxury I previously reserved to the verbal content of the composition.
This specific poem uses isolated sound shifts to pause realisation: (sinks!, sinks… sinks —) similarly to an “Oh!, Oh…” commonly used in general communication. Consonant repetition and syllabic cadence are also utilised to a more subtle degree. (also, some lousy enjambement in the second stanza, but I couldn’t fix it properly)
I’m hopeful that you don’t mind my silly experiments, and may continue this poetic quest with me. It can be a bit saturating, but necessary, nonetheless.
I’m having a bit of a dry-spell, poetry-wise, so I can only make constructions. This one isn’t very good, but inspiration is failing me. I blame the Pleiades.