A Brief Synopsis of the Epic Canon
They say that Dante’s an eternal star,
But the Commedia? tl;dr.
Rome’s history rides in that triumphal car,
The Aeneid, but, you know: tl;dr…
The Odyssey’s adventures take us far
And wide: long story short: tl;dr.
The Iliad proudly wears its battle scar,
Singing the Trojan War, tl;dr.
Paradise Lost? Let’s hold a seminar
On why the Hell it’s so tl;dr.
The Prelude is a lofty soul’s memoir,
Or something—anyway, tl;dr.
Jerusalem and The Four Zoas are
Sublime, mystical and tl;dr.
The tale of Gilgamesh—how grand! Ishtar,
Humbaba, Enkidu, Tyeldyar!
Knights in The Faerie Queene with lances spar.
(Of all tl’s by far the most dr.)
What? I should read the Mahabhàrata?
Even the title is tl;dyah!
XI. To Summarize:
Epics are poems one flaw tends to mar:
The texts they message are tl;dr.
Arthur Chapin is a retired medical editor living in Charlottesville, Virginia. His work has been published in Light, Measure, and The Ghazal Page. His multimedia verse-novel on Oscar Wilde, In Memoriam C.3.3, will soon be posted on Oscholars.com.