Creation of an epic – 11

The epic form had been chosen because the themes that emerged from the insight into Spenser’s attitudes were deep enough to require sufficient scope. The idea then struck me:  if these themes are so fundamental, then the work should cover a great span of time to show that what we are today we have in […]

Creation of an epic – 12

What now? Research.  Lots and lots of research.  For Odysseus, not only the myths associated with him but the nature of Greece three thousand years ago in the Mycenean Age—what the whole of the area was like then, what cities and towns there were, what life was like, and what we know of the other […]

Creation of an epic – 13

And that start also applied to the other two journeys. Spenser’s was particularly interesting.  What we know about him is very little, forcing biographers to make cautious surmises—but I discuss this in my introduction in Book Two.  A huge amount of research had to go in all aspects of Elizabethan society, both in England and […]

Creation of an epic – 14

And the same applies to the third story—that of Ray Archer.  Whereas the first two dealt with a mythical figure and an historical figure, this final one is entirely fictional.  He also lives in Canada, with his adventures located first in Canada, not far in the past, around 2005 to begin with.  His story is […]

Creation of an epic – 15

It is not a full effort to research a project, regardless of time.  It is a greater effort to find the structure.  But the ultimate effort is in creating the work.  In this case I had, not one, but three stories to tell, spanning three thousand years; and, given that they were to be written […]

Creation of an epic – 16

As a director and actor, I had no problem after initial research imagining character and situation in the context of where they are and in light of the technical conditions of setting, lighting, and the theatre itself.  Now, what I had envisioned from a script I had to create from scratch.  Fortunately, I had learned […]

Creation of an epic – 17

For example, here is an example from Archer of what he imagined at the site of the Battle of Batoche as shown through the form of a Nineteenth Century literary ballad: Nor does this quiet nestled place Reveal the shift so wrenched Through battle in our country’s dawn That territories were redrawn And the new […]

Creation of an epic – 18

Another example from Archer shows   a poem based on a strikers’ song in 1932 during the Winnipeg Riot: On the Trek   In ’32 the plan was hatched That McNaughton had laid Set up camps for the unemployed To make sure no one strayed Relief camps they now would be called Remote from cities found […]

Creation of an epic – 19

It is a strange feeling to create characters and scenes and find that they take on their own life, live in your mind.  I can honestly say that I wrote down what I heard them say and described where I saw them and how they acted—and all this in the context of the poetic form […]

Creation of an epic – 20

Well, the first thing was to accept that it would take years.  And the second thing was to work out a rough timetable.  My goal became to write a canto a month—in other words, to write at least thirty pages a month—approximately a page of poetry a day. Now, you need to realize that the […]