Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Poets and Poems: Andrew Benson Brown and “Legends of Liberty”

Andrew Benson Brown has taken some of the signature events of the early American Revolution and turned them into an epic poem. But there’s a twist.  

This is an American Revolution that sounds familiar, vaguely, but isn’t quite what you’ll find in the history books. Thomas Jefferson is sent to Hell for some unknown sin and is guided through the underworld by none other than Dante. Paul Revere makes his famous ride on the fastest horse on earth. It’s not just the short heard round the world at Lexington and Concord; it may have fired by a British soldier and any of a number of other claimants. And if at first you think the story of farmer Sam Whittemore is made up, well, think again! I have a new octogenarian hero.


Brown’s Legends of Liberty: Volume One isn’t like any historical poem you’ve read before. A combination of rhymed poetry and illustrations (with stanzas printed right on many of them), this is part epic, part mock-epic, part historical fact, part historical invention, a strong dollop of the tongue-in-cheek, and all sheer fun. And underneath it all, Brown seems to be making a serious point.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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