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“The Gift of Life” is a formal epic poem of 600 original Shakespearean sonnets, a tale about a love that existed in life and art with equal force. The heroine of the tale goes to the great war of words with the avant-garde, on behalf of the classical artistic tradition, and succeeds in destroying the modern artists of fecal “art” Madonnas and crucifixes submerged in urine. It is a statement on behalf of beautiful artistry in a culture of great sickness. The volume is available for Kindle and paperback, here..

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The Public View

And though the villains did their best to kill
Enthusiasm for the greeting cards,
The public could not get their feast or fill
Of what Anne Hart had granted modern bards:
Unleashed from chains of ugliness and hate,
The Poem by Anne Hart was given wing;
And love in content and form did create
A music such that seraphim might sing.
The music to the art of partner Matt,
On greeting cards and e-cards fixed and joined,
Created such demand in market that
A brand new phrase to capture it was coined:
Phenomenon of Love Links greeting cards
Was called, “The Chain of Love Begun by Bards.”

The people, overwhelmed by newfound joy,
Sent e-cards by the score to those they loved;
The shy and fervent adolescent boy
Sent cards to all the many girls he loved.
The husband to his wife sent one along,
The wife to husband made the same sweet move;
The internet was warm with art and song,
Which lovers used their truest love to prove.
The mother to her daughter sent a card;
The daughter to her mother sent as well;
All family members used the tune of bard
To love of other family members tell.
The message boxes of so many folks
Were filled with Hart’s poetic loving pokes!

Success of love was love and more love sent,
For once a heart was to pure loving prone,
All envy, malice and its kind was rent
By lover’s sigh, the sweetest, softest moan.
There was no way that those by pure love touched
Could ever turn away from what they’d found.
The heart of Anne that had so many touched
Made masses firm to stand the lover’s ground.
Against the avant-garde the public stood
As one united mass linked tight in love;
They used creative tools to work for Good
With weapons that resembled those of dove.
It was not hate to hate the public spewed,
But messages with hope and love imbued.

If internet could pass a stream of hate,
In form of what the avant-garde had sent,
A stream of love could with its power sate
The need for peace that avant-garde had rent.
To make a dent in what the Beats had done,
Vast scores of bloggers plunked away at keys.
They would not rest till Love’s Day had been won,
By bringing those who slandered Hart to knees.
With quick and agile fingers to the mark,
Anne Hart’s defenders struck at hate with love;
They told the world why it should pause and hark
To sentiments of boundless gift of love.
Hephaestus and Apollo granting fire,
The diarists projected love to lyre.

“I don’t know why the Beats are keen to pick
On Anne,” one blogger wrote. “She offers love,
By sending words which light and hone its wick—
One can’t be damped by hater’s awful glove.
The Beats do talk of love with endless praise,
And claim that Beauty is the enemy
That all who love the human race must raze
If we are from its falsehood to be free.
Yet what do these types offer in return?
Once beauty’s gone, what part of us will stand?
True Beauty is the way that humans learn
Which sights and feats will guide a way-worn hand.
It’s love for what is good and what is true
That makes real Beauty in Art speak time through.

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Amanda Hall is the author of many self-published volumes in poetry, fiction, theatre and scholarship—among them two epic poems, The Gift of Life: An Epic in Verse, and The Laughing Pen: An Epic Satire in Heroic Meter. She has been a critical journalist, in the past, for The New Individualist, tackling issues of aesthetics. She currently resides in Southwest Florida. 


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7 Responses

  1. Andrew Benson Brown

    This looks wonderful! I’m so glad to see epic poetry making a comeback on this site. Am going to have to get a copy.

    Reply
  2. Amanda Hall

    Just to make a minor correction, friends, as I suppose it was unclear to Mr. Mantyk: the sonnets here are the first of the canto titled The Public View, roughly halfway through the epic, not at the beginning of the work itself.
    Thank you for taking an interest. I am honored to be a part of SCP!

    Reply
  3. Margaret Coats

    Amanda, yours is an attempt to lift the love sonnet sequence to another level. Six hundred sonnets do extend it to epic length, and the “war of words” promises epic battles, but it would be interesting to know how you reached for any other qualities of the epic genre. For your narrative, you certainly needed to leave behind the usual independence of love sonnets in the lyric sequence. Perhaps the end of the first sonnet above tries to establish some epic epithets for Anne’s work. I even seem to notice some striving for a higher style, but as these are still love sonnets, they would seem to remain in middle style–nothing to be ashamed of, as Petrarch and the Renaissance sonneteers wrote in middle style. You have made a good selection of five here, as the final lines recall the classic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

    Reply
    • Amanda Hall

      Thank you for these thoughtful remarks, Ms. Coats. I would be interested to know your thoughts, upon reading more of the work. I am a novelist of epics, as well as verse narratives, and I assure you, there is a solid plot, characters and resolution, to an epic battle, in this work. I chose sonnets, because I liked the little condensed work to stand on its own, as well as chained within the greater narrative. If you would be so kind as to review, Ms. Coats, I have a paperback copy I could wing your way, with snail mail. Thanks again for your insight. I am happy to have the attention of so talented a hand. Best, Amanda

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        Thank you, Amanda, for the opportunity! I will be happy to review, and will send an e-mail with address to Evan Mantyk to forward to you.

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