The Impact of Poetry
The legend of Homer, considered by most the greatest epic poets of ancient Greece, stretches beyond classroom conversations and readings in classics classes at Connecticut College. His legend transforms Homer from being a man of words into a man of impact. Words were just the way of delivering this impact to the masses. We see the importance of poetry to the people and culture of Ancient Greece in more places than just the oral readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Festivals revolved around the viewing of these long poetic dramas and tragedies. They were one of the many ways in which Greeks would honor gods. Poetry and its rich culture in Ancient Greece is so important because it connected to people to their past. It was very Ancestral in nature. The transformation it makes over some two thousand years brings poetry to its lowest point in history. The impact that Homer made would never be associated with a poet in the 17th – 21st century. Poets such as Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound are considered to be geniuses with their crafts, but geniuses they are only to a few. This degradation of poets has not only destroyed a way to transmit knowledge and culture but has degraded the importance of literature as a whole in the last four centuries.
“Aristotle divided poetry into lyrics, elegiac, epic, and dramatic”.1 All of these categories were equally important in terms of impact. Beyond the words and the emotions behind plays of Ancient Greece there was additional development of Greek culture and religion that was fueled by these poems and epics. Just as the Bible still has a profound effect on people now, The Iliad and The Odyssey impacted people profoundly for several centuries and still has an important role today. This impact is known by the great Homer himself and in The Odyssey this description displays this effect poetry contained: “In came the herald now, leading along the faithful bard the Muse adored above all others, true,...
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