Read the full post here.
Prompt: A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (example from Milton’s Paradise Lost).
But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across.
I read Gospel of Rain by Krissy Mosley and watched her poetry film of the piece.
she smelled familiar like I knew her,
rain has descendants –
I then had a class online and somehow when I came back to take up my place, I read another poem by Amita Paul (who was featured on Day 25). It is because the link to today’s poem is in the discussion on Day 25 – mystery solved. It meant I read an extra poem today.
I read Maa by Amita Paul. It is a difficult subject. A strong woman to come to a dream.
Tell them , my Child ! , “ she answered , “ to look up
From their business of manufactured angst
And take a hard clear look at real life
And at the World which they say they will conquer
And see how they are fooled by the false praise
I then today’s 2nd featured poem “Verdant Devi Divine” by Arti Jain.
A beautiful exploration of garden and spirit.
She holds, like all my creatures, the fragrances,
the essences of the first—
the first kiss on Earth.
I am coming to the day late (after work) and the prompt looks fairly epic… so I read the selected poems from Longleaf Review.
A Bride for a Flood
by Sara Elkamel
As you all know I love a duplex and the work of Jericho Brown so I was excited to read this. I read it a few times.
Like prayers into a white lotus corset.
Not Bruise, Not Eggplant
by Jad Josey
A striking poem which encapsulates urgency.
like a bird waking from a dream
of silver-edged clouds …
to find its feathers vanished —
Later you are making tea,
water rumbling over flame,
and the gloaming is too loud, too quiet,
Honestly I want to say – forget it, I will do it tomorrow! But this year I have managed not to fall behind and I don’t intend to start now, 4 days from the finish line! So I re-read the prompt and got writing.
The first example (from the linked definition) is useful if you are unsure;
As when the shudder of the west wind suddenly rising scatters across the water,
and the water darkens beneath it, so darkening were settled the ranks of Achaians and Trojans in the plain. – © Britannica
Tired head stretched for ideas notebook to find a starting point and in had to face the truth that I still have jobs to do before bed and whatever I write right in this minute wouldn’t be anything good. So I am banking this, sleeping on it.
3 Days Later
I finally have some catch up time carved out. I decided on ‘nature’ as a starting theme to explore Homeric similes. Many of the example poems which use this technique are archaic and I needed to step back to get the thou and thus out of my mind. Needless to say my poem is a contemporary take. I am already looking forwarding to reading deeper the featured participant poems from this prompt.
The sky is blue and my pen is ready…
and the rabbit hole open wide! I watched incredible videos of real places in our world which are awe inspiringly unique, I watched relaxing nature videos showing some of the flora and fauna from this island. I watched several click-caught videos on unique people and natural phenomenon that no scientist can explain. Then I gave myself a talking to (I have lots to do today) and plumped on native plants – choosing as my focus ‘Golden Shield Fern’, which is a common sight in UK Woodlands.
My poem came out as a prose block and based on the weaving of multiple connected strands I think I have managed homeric similes, whether the poem is any good or not, is another story! This extract is most of a stanza after I played around with the format.
I wonder if I’d wear green,
something like a jungle outfit seen on Sunday morning
black and white episodes of Tarzan, a misty memory
of sharing them with Dad.