Narrative poetry enjoyed a long and distinguished history, stretching from Homer (and possibly even earlier, with The Epic of Gilgamesh) well through the 19th century, with poets like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. But like so many things, and like so many things of value, it fell on hard times in the 20th century. James Tweedie at the Society of Classical Poets asks, “What happened to narrative poetry?”
World War II was a war known for its horrendous acts, but one in particular was not committed by Nazi Germany. Two weeks after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, Stalin attacked Poland from the east – a plan worked out with Hitler in the Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact. The Russians took almost 500,000 people prisoners, eventually letting 350,000 go. In the spring of 1940, the Soviet Union began the systematic execution of about 30,000 Polish army officers, academics and others members of the intelligentsia, police officers, landowners, factory owners, and others. It is known at the Katyn Massacre, and it is still the source of bad relations between Poland and Russia today. Gilbert Taylor at the Toronto Sun tells the story.
Arthur Conan Doyle was great friends with a Canadian-born mystery writer named Grant Allen. In 1899, Allen was publishing a serial story in The Strand Magazine; he was also dying, and he didn’t have the energy to continue writing the final two chapters, even though his mind remained sharp. Olivia Rutigliano at CrimeReads explains that Conan Doyle stepped in and sat at his friend’s bedside taking dictation to complete the final story.
More Good Reads
Poetry is Prayer – Ed Simon at The Millions.
Supernova – Daniel Leach at The Chained Muse.
“A Kiss in My Hand” – Seth Lewis.
Essay: ‘Moralistic Authenticity’ – Joseph S. Salemi at Society of Classical Poets.
A Clock at Windsor – Jenny Cesario at Dappled Thoughts.
He Saw God through His Pen: George Herbert (1593-1633) – John Piper at Desiring God.
Why Does God Do Sunsets? – Doug Spurling at Spurling Silver.
The Hidden Transubstantiation of Contemporary Worship – Josh Pauling at Mere Orthodoxy.
Criminalizing Dissent at UMass Amherst – Karen Hurvitz and Ilya Feoktistov at Front Page Magazine.
Politics of Gethsemane – David Warren at Essays in Idleness.
Writing and Literature
The Road to Glory: Faulkner’s Hollywood Years, 1932–1936 – Lisa Hickman at Los Angeles Review of Books.
What Tolkien Did So Well, What We Do So Poorly – Tim Challies.
An Introvert at a Writer’s Conference – Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent.
A death at Mill Spring: ‘Samuel has gone to his God’ – John Banks Civil War.
Liberty or Empire? Reconsidering the Articles of Confederation – Alexander Salter at Front Porch Republic.
London Wall – A Location Shifting Historic Street – at A London Inheritance.
Blackheath to Mudchute Park & Farm: Gallivanting in Glorious Greenwich – London Wlogger.
Unlucky Usurpers and Proud Tyrants: The Leadership of Fifth Century Britain – Chris Thorndycroft at English Historical Fiction Authors.
About that rich young Seattle millionaire: Wasn't there some Bible in there somewhere? – Julia Duin at Get Religion.
Jerusalem and God Save the Queen – Last Night of the Proms 2012
Painting: Portrait of a Man Reading, oil on canvas by Ferdinand Hodler (1888).