The Song of Roland

The Battle of Roncesvaux (a.k.a. Roncesvals)

I love the Song of Roland. Despite the fact its goriness sometimes rivals that of the Iliad (which is saying… a lot…), it’s epic. Literally epic. And I’ll admit it. I cried. Reading Beowulf was one thing, but the battle at Roncesvals actually happened, however the poem was embellished. Do you ever read a history book and sit back and try to imagine it actually happening, the people who are just names in the book living and fighting and weeping over their slaughtered friends? It’s – surreal.

Roland finally calls for Charlemagne

Besides that, now I really want to write an epic poem. The desire sprouted when I read Beowulf and now it’s grown greater. I want to write an epic like Beowulf, like the Song of Roland, like Tolkien’s Lay of Leithien. I’ve even come up with a basic plot that is a cross between the former two (although I’m torn as to whether I should use it for my epic or for a novel).

Might seem ambitious for me to be looking at writing an epic poem when writing simple rhyming poetry is already quite a struggle, but I can only get better, right? And I learned a lot reading SOR. For example:

i LEARNED the SYL-la-BLES should GO

like THIS, al-TER-nat-ING the STRESS.

Apologies. Also, apparently assonance is absolutely acceptable. (As well as alliteration, lol.) Assonance, as in:

“Some kids who played games about Narnia

Got gradually balmier and balmier…”

Charlemagne finds Roland d-NOOO!!! SPOILERS!!!

Which yes, I stole from C.S. Lewis, and now I’m pretty sure he meant ‘barmier’ but that doesn’t make sense for Lewis to make a mistake like that and……… I’m off topic. Assonance as in it doesn’t quite rhyme.

All this to say, I’m going to write an epic.



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