Somewhere along the line, you have probably heard someone ask: Which came first, the
chicken or the egg? That question could easily apply to poetry and fantasy. They both
go back so far in human history that it’s impossible to pinpoint the first poem or the first
fantasy. Homer’s Iliad is an epic poem in which the gods fight along side men and
control their destinies. It’s a poem and a fantasy rolled into one and it was presumably
written around the 8th Century B.C.E. Plato hated it. Aristotle loved it.
Poetry and fantasy emerged from the darkness of prehistory hand-in-hand. Fantasy has
always centered around world building whether its the world we see around us or the
world inhabited by the powers that man did not understand. And poetry, because of its
rhythmic nature, made the story easier to remember. Like Virgil (The Aeneid),
Spencer (The Faerie Queene), and Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the poets
that write fantasy and grace the pages of THE DARK SIRE are the direct descendents of
some of the greatest literature ever written.
When we think of modern fantasy, we immediately think of J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord
of the Rings trilogy. At THE DARK SIRE, Tolkien is the bell weather author whose
works epitomize the kind of fantasy literature that we are looking for. Tolkien was a
classicist. He incorporated the poetic history of his created world into the stories. There
are over 60 poems scattered among the three books. There are poems unique to the
humans. There are poems unique to the Elves. There are poems unique to the Dwarves.
These poems were written in the Aristotelian tradition. In his Poetics, Aristotle said that
one of the keys to poetry was “imitation”. Poetry needed to imitate life. In his poetry,
Tolkien does just that. His Elvian poetry encompasses the traditions of the Elves
allowing the reader a glimpse into their history and folklore. Likewise, in the poetry of
the Dwarves, we see into their folklore and history. These poems help explain the world
in which these characters live and therefore go hand in hand with one of the key concepts
Poems involving fantastic worlds of gods and terrible monsters and alternative realities
have existed in oral form long before the advent of the printed word. Now that they can
be captured in written form, THE DARK SIRE seeks to be thee platform to continue
this marriage between Poetry and Fantasy. So write your poems; invent your worlds. Let
us read and publish them. Help us continue a tradition that, at its core, defines who we
are, our hopes and fears and, most importantly, our dreams.
Join the literary tradition. SUBMIT your work today!