BOOK I – CANTO I: EULOGY

If I should sing the saga of our time—
war with the Heavens, human anarchy,
and how, with LORD and Angels hurtled down
to darkness, chaos fractures all: our state
and culture, Earth and purpose torn   (till gods
be resurrected to the modern world)—
what muse would hear?   what spirits still lift Song,
since holy inspiration is undone
and Glory down?   Yet sing I must,   and so,
if unaccompanied by gleaming choirs,
invoke myself, my soul,     my lyre.    Sing then—
sing seven strings, and say:   how fell Jehovah?
that over ancient Harmony I’ll lay
green words, and deck what rests with laurel; sow
God’s earthen shroud with floral lines, then weave
a crown of bay from out this threnody
for deity:     I sing the death of God.
I sing the Everlasting overthrown,
his Kingdom toppled to obscurity,
and Empire shorn.   Amid the ember-ash
and gray,   in cinders of Elysium,
I sing Man’s insurrection, war with God
that wrought apocalypse on Paradise,
and ended Heaven’s reign…

 

ABOUT THE POEM
Brendan Dempsey’s God: An Epic is an epic poem comprised of 12 Books and written in English blank verse—the first of its kind in nearly four hundred years. Despite its nod to tradition, however, the work dramatically engages with the contemporary world, recounting the death of God in the 20th Century, a Poet’s journey into the Underworld to rescue him, and the subsequent resurrection of the Sacred in our own time. Formal in structure and technique, it embodies the metamodern return to myth and aesthetic craftsmanship, making it a prime specimen of New Classicism.

 

ABOUT NEW CLASSICISM
Exemplary of the emergent metamodern sensibility, New or Metamodern Classicism is a formalist movement in the Arts born of an oscillation between modern and postmodern contraries. While accepting postmodernism’s radical skepticism of meaning and authority, it simultaneously affirms a (pre)modern commitment to admittedly-fraught ideals such as Purpose, Beauty, and the Sacred. The end is an entirely new classical system—one indebted to and inspired by historical classicisms, yet ultimately sui generis and rooted in the Human condition of the 21st Century. To learn more, go to www.newclassicism.net.

Featured Image: “Fallen Angel” by Ricardo Bellver.

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One Response

  1. Wilude Scabere

    Lines to Brendan G. Dempsey

    I really like th’ idea of Elysium:
    the cadences I’ve read, John Milton as your guide.
    It moves beyond Will Butler Yeats’ Byzantium,
    and promises to be an interesting ride.
    Though I’ve perused just pieces on the Internet;
    I like its glow; I like the flow; I like the tide.
    It certainly goes places Pinter never went.
    And yet for all that (though I have not read it all),
    I doubt that it attempts things unattempted yet
    in prose or rhyme, nor catches Milton’s text-rich scrawl,
    that was so manifestly realized in him.
    Still, what I like is that you heed his awesome call.

    And here follows Julian’s sonnet to me.

    Wilude, I very much appreciate
    Your interest in my poem, and kind review;
    It seems that (through our interests) we relate
    On verse, and interests classical. If you,
    In passing through the halls of Academe,
    Or in your own poetical pursuits,
    Should know some other souls you think may deem
    My site or epic interesting, recruits
    For this new enterprise are always wanted.
    I long for strong community of those,
    Like us, who value meter, and aren’t daunted
    By the hard task of making verse (not prose–
    As so much free verse is!) So let’s unite!
    Your words affirm the purpose of my site.

    Reply

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