Great Milestones in Poetry

WILLIAM BLAKE | Spazio personale di mario aperto a tutti 24 ore su

Second Millennia B.C.E – Gilgamesh tells the story of two brothers. One god-like and the other bestial. It was later adapted for television as The Odd Couple.

Eighth Century B.C.E. – Homer writes the Odyssey and the Iliad. Homer was, by most accounts, blind and illiterate, so he had to memorize the entire work and recite them over several days. The best part was when a few people chanted “peas and carrots” over and over until Homer lost his place and had to start all over from the beginning…

19th Century A.D. – The first limerick is created, completely humiliating some guy from Nantucket and his friend, a hermit named “Dave”…

December 1922 – T. S. Eliot publishes Wasteland… a poetic work so brilliant that it turned Eliot British overnight.

1794 – William Blake writes Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, in the forest of the night. It was revolutionary because people had been trapping them and shooting them but no one had seriously considered setting them on fyre.

January 1818 – Percy Shelly writes Ozymandius. It stands out from Shelly’s other works because everything else he wrote was just awful.

November 1956 – Alan Ginsburg, through his epic poem Howl, teaches us that poetry need not rhyme or be particularly good.

Sixteenth Century ADE – Shakespeare writes a sonnet in which he compares an anonymous person to a summer’s day. After that, no one used a meteorological metaphor until Yeats compared the Duchess of York to an occluded front.

Sixth Century BCE – Sappho writes wonderful odes on her home island of Lesbos. Many historians contended that Sappho was not a homosexual despite her being a Lesbian. No one really knows because Birkenstocks had yet to be invented…

22 thoughts on “Great Milestones in Poetry

    1. Funny! My son really liked Ginsberg, but, while waiting somewhere with his brother, the two of them found that if they repeated ANY set of words and phrases in the same meter, it sounded just as profound.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not a poetess but I am the poetest
    Because my poems are the mostestest.
    Unlike Gertrude S., I don’t think four.roses is betterer;
    I say a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose….et cetera.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I were still teaching literature, I’d share this with my students
    .
    P.S. Did you know that every Emily Dickenson’s poem can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”? When we were in the poetry unit, I brought my guitar to school, and the class sang a few of them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now, THAT is information I can use. I’m planning a rock opera on an alternate universe where Emily Dickenson kidnaps the Lindbergh baby and raises it to become a member of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. I’m hoping to get Hugh Jackman to co-star as Emily’s plucky dog, Jason…

      Liked by 1 person

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