The Need for Poetry Like Draco AlchemicusThe Dark Herald
There was a time, believe it or not, that it was central to American life. People would attend, in fact, pay good money for, professional readings. In parlors across the United States, people would get together and discuss poems. Every school child would be taught the basics of poetry and be required to construct poems.
In the same way that everyone today knows the basics of Star Wars and Harry Potter, all Americans of a bygone era knew a list of famous poems by heart. Everyone had read Passage to India, The Song of Hiawatha, Hope Is a Thing With Feathers, and The Raven.
You only had to speak a fragment and a perfect stranger could finish it for you.
“Quoth the Raven…”
These poems and many others formed a distinctly American voice.
Poetry is quite possibly the oldest art form in existence. Before written records were created, poetry was used to pass down history, teach life lessons, and perhaps most important of all internalize learning.
Hymns are doctrine set to music
Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away. -Homer (8th Century BC)
Thousands of years have passed since Homer turned long to dust, yet his heart can still touch yours through his poetry. At times bringing tears, at times leaving you rolling on the floor. Poetry captures emotions and the fullness of a moment of time and put it into words.
Like a fossil tree
from which we gather no flowers,
sad has been my life
fated no fruit to produce.
-Minamoto No Yorimasa (1180 AD, Seppuku Poem)
My generation was the last where there was even a halfhearted attempt to teach classic poetry in primary schools.
Sadly, the generation that followed was told that, yes indeed poetry is a great goodness. And that this is America’s greatest poet:
And that something like this was it’s greatest poetry
The coffee house drivel probably feels like it’s something profound if you’re high or drunk enough. But when examined it’s nothing but self-absorbed emptiness. They can wyrm-tongue their way to producing cant. They can talk about speaking to Their Own Truth because they can not speak real Truth. Lies and only lies are their legacy to the world.
The generations that followed mine have been convinced that this dreck really MEANS something and that if you don’t love it, then you just aren’t smart enough to really understand what makes it so special. Only special people can understand it, their pride is tied up into defending this garbage. Pride and status go hand in hand and both are useful for cutting you away from the True and the Beautiful.
Poetry is pure creation, which is why The Enemy hates it.
“The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real things of its own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them.” -Tolkien
They redefine words to make them liars. “Deconstruction, “Decolonization,” “Through the Lens of Critical Theory,” The real definition of Critical now means to Destroy. What happened to poetry first is also what happened to dance, then music, then art, and yes even the humble comic book. The Enemy cannot create it can only commandeer mock and ruin.
Yet for all of those wasted efforts, Truth and Beauty still find their way into the world.
Which brings me neatly to Doctor Rachel Fulton Brown’s brilliant epic Draco Alchemicus:
“An Empire commands the seven seas. It is ruled by an ancient tyrant, the great Alchemical Dragon. Inside the realm, the City of Light shines on the shore, illuminated by electricity and filled with every technological wonder on earth. Within the City wanders the captured love of a pirate king. Damian Stone has come to claim his bride from the Dragon’s jaws and set her free.
But does his stolen bride know that she’s been enslaved inside the Dragon’s utopia of sorcery, or is she happily immersed in the spice-fuelled dreamworld of Rainbow Time?”
“Come near, my dove, and taste the hidden love.
Into a dream I’ll ease you, ne’er to wake.
One tear to taste, like star-milk from above,
shows lights unseen unless you dare partake.
Sharp on your tongue, a pyramid of snakes
uncloaks a dark star burning in my breast.
You’ll see the world as clearly as the drakes,
and capture seas from East to furthest West.
For Dragon sight, I’ll trade the crystal in your chest.”
This is what real poetry is supposed to be. A timeless examination of Truth, and words used to render the beautiful into this world.
And it could also use your help.
Below you will find a link to this epic’s Kickstarter page.
DRACO ALCHEMICUS is an epic fantasy divided into five acts, to be released in succession:
- Act I: The Casino
- Act II: The Court
- Act III: The Market
- Act IV: The Carnival
- Act V: The Wedding
The tale is told in the most important cultural form of the English-speaking World: iambic pentameter. In tribute to Edmund Spenser’s Elizabethan Faerie Queene, our goal is to write and illustrate a mythical history of English as the cauldron of nations. The poets of the Dragon Common Room are stewing the spices of this imperial mythology in the poetic meter of the English language: the heartbeat of the Enlightened World.
Now pony up cheapskates and help bring something badly needed into the world.