Ann Trent reports:
"When beginning your own epic poem, you can employ a few specific strategies to immediately signal that your poem is following the epic tradition...Epic poems often start with an invocation to the muse. The term 'muse' refers to a god or goddess that inspires poetry or other works of art...You can be creative in deciding exactly what is meant by the term 'muse'; you could call on traditional religious figures or on any cultural, spiritual or artistic figures that serve as an inspiration to your own writing. You could even choose a fictitious character as your muse!...When writing your epic poem, include not only action through narrative, but also a theme that you are trying to present and the hero who leads the action...In your own epic, make clear your primary point in the poem and indicate your primary hero or protagonist...Most epic poems begin 'in Media Res,' which means 'in the middle of things.' In 'The Iliad,' the poem begins after the Trojan War has already started. Beginning in this way allows your reader to feel as though he is thrust into the action and provides immediate excitement for the reader. An accident, a battle or even a breakup can work as an incident around which to center your epic poem...Epic poets often begin their work with similes and epithets (descriptions taking the place of a person's name) as a way to rename or highlight certain personality traits of characters or aspects of the natural world...In your own epic poem, provide your characters with epithets that highlight the characteristics that you want your reader to remember."
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