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Hercules: The Age of Heroes

by Rydia


Hercules: The Age of Heroes

They write no headlines when you're old;
Pan is dead. Megora menopausing,

but nobody cares where the old heroes go.

I might save a damsel in the morning
or blog about the good old days.
Ideas in my head are slowly forming;

I didn't used to think. I'm feeling my age
so I'll tweet about how Megora got fat
or the Bowie gig where I got to go backstage.

I've thought I might adopt a three legged cat
or one of them orphans from Indonesia.
I wonder what my folks would think to that.

Yesterday I got diagnosed as being bipolar.
And while playing Halo I broke my best controller.


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Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:54 am
Vil wrote a review...



Hello, @Rydia. It's Vilnius, here to review your poem!

First off a few small critiques--
1. I think instead of "Megora" you mean "Megara;" there is no "Megora in Greek Mythology.
2. Menopausing, as previously mentioned, is not a word.

Other than those few errors, I think this poem is great! I rally liked it.

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




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Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:51 pm
sockmonkey wrote a review...



This is interesting and made me laugh but shouldn't' the first mention of megora say menstruating or in menopause or something maybe I'm' wrong but I don't' think menopausing is a word since it happens with one hot flash usually.In the second mention of megora you spell it megara?




Rydia says...


Thanks sockmonkey and you're right, it isn't a word. I was using my artistic licence to fit the rhyme scheme and general tone of the poem. Maybe I'll have to reconsider that and thanks for catching the name typo!



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Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:51 pm
Kit wrote a review...



It is interesting in that while it is a sonnet, you have used the three line structure, which is fairly typical in modern verse but also somehow reminded me of a villanelle. I think the gap between the animated Hercules and the mythical one, and then again with this poem. The title is ironic, yes? I'm interested in nostalgia because, despite the amount of crap that goes on, in the world, I think we do evolve, and get better, in part through the wisdom of people in the past. So, while Hercules bitching about his wife's menopause and weight, making shows of charity, and playing Halo seems to be a step down from diverting a river to rid a stable of poo, I would argue that it is a step up from murdering his six children and wife.

That is the question. Is it better to be apathetic and ordinary, or potentially violent and extraordinary? Strangely, someone who is apathetic can do as much damage without being aware of it, while someone with a violent nature knows and learns to control it. But then, it is much harder to kill your whole family with apathy.

The theme I get from this poem more than anything else is entropy. I remember my beloved saying something about the most favourable entropy, that it is actually an active... Yeah, I don't know anything about thermodynamics. TO MUSIC! **batman transition music** It takes a lot more energy to play slowly and softly than it does fast and loud. That is what I think the challenge of this poem is, if it were about something active, it would be amazing, it would be done. But a poem about entropy requires more effort, paradoxically.

They write no headlines when you're old;
Pan is dead. Megora menopausing,
but nobody cares where the old heroes go.


Guessing you'll be expecting this, but I am not crazy about 'old' and 'go'. Neither of those words are particularly difficult to rhyme, and if you use the rhyming pattern for the rest of the poem, it looks lazy to leave it like this. Also the first and last line say the same thing, it's early in the poem for that. No matter how hard I try, I can only get for feet in the opening line, which also doesn't look so good if you are using pentameter for the others. Ideas are great, execution is slightly behind.

I might save a damsel in the morning
or blog about the good old days.
Ideas in my head are slowly forming;


Damsel is the odd one out. 'Ideas in my head are slowly forming' though is not your best, it doesn't have a natural flow, and feels like the line is twisted to make the rhyme. That, in turn draws attention to the 'm'/'n' discrepancy. Structurally, you could spend one of the small stanzas on the damsel if you wanted, the what he would/should do, and then being stuck in inaction, or move between the heroic and the entropic in each stanza. Play with it.

I didn't used to think. I'm feeling my age
so I'll tweet about how Megara got fat
or the Bowie gig where I got to go backstage.


Gorgeous stanza. "I didn't used to think. I'm feeling my age" is perfect.

I've thought I might adopt a three legged cat
or one of them orphans from Indonesia.
I wonder what my folks would think to that.


Didn't Hercules debate and fight his own nature? Was he not also trying to become someone his parents were proud of?


I think this stanza covers it, Leroux, but you are the wiser. He is tarnished, this is his struggling against his nature, it's a smaller battleground.

Yesterday I got diagnosed as being bipolar.
And while playing Halo I broke my best controller.


I am interested in the bipolar thing, in principally the battles we fight being psychological these days. It's an interesting place to be in, really because while people are more likely to get diagnosed with various disorders, we don't quite consider them to be as 'heroic' as physical ones, in most cases. But the couplet is nicely phrased, neat, very tight end to the sonnet.

Good work, very interesting piece.




Rydia says...


Thanks for the review, Kit! I should probably have cleared this up before now but it's actually a 'Terza Rima' rather than a sonnet, though they share some similarities so it doesn't make much difference.

You make some very good points, I'll have to take another look at this. Thanks again!



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Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:07 pm
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PenguinAttack says...



Hey Sabre!

So you know I love Hercules, and if you don't you should, because I love him. I can see the allusions to the show, to various video games, and you maintain that. You maintain the materialistic and warring nature throughout the poem. Didn't Hercules debate and fight his own nature? Was he not also trying to become someone his parents were proud of?

I think that Nah is right in that this feels incredibly disjointed, all of the lines are here and they are basically working for you but the connections are lacking. Mostly because of the nature of the poem, which I've identified as the modern consumer lifestyle of the average 20something. The nature of this poem begs for a kind of lead up to the punchline - which we see in your final couplet. (Did you think I'd not notice this sonnet form?) But because it is a kind of swift look at the quibbles and issues of the young adult, you have to chop and change to keep our attention. I think that the suggestion that you have to work at keeping our attention is the problem. i want to read this and suddenly laugh at the end, at the absurdity of the final line, but I feel like it isn't absurd at all with the lead up, and it doesn't teach me anything. It shows me a lifestyle. Internet, foreign aid, Halo, that's totally the GenY that we are. I see that you're putting it forth and contrasting/comparing/alluding to the Herculean efforts we all go through (yes, subtle sarcasm?) just to keep on going.

I didn't read anyone's review in full, so I'm sorry if I'm rehashing old ground. You can do better with this poem, though. GenY is boring, it's politics, it's stale poetry unless you're going to do something totally more with it. You have Hercules! The title drew me immediately, and I want some follow through from you because I KNOW you can make a beautiful mythic yarn.

At the very least, work on the rhythm of the poem, you're completely out of a natural cadence, potentially because of our accents, but I think your line syllables are off in places, they lines are awkward in my mouth when I read it out loud. Consider ditching the sonnet and working on a more free-verse poem, or a rhyme scheme if you're looking toward some comedy.

It's not terrible, it's just not what you could have done with it.

<3




Meshugenah says...


*head/desk* I totally missed the sonnet bit. Talk about not seeing what you don't expect. *shame*



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Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:26 am
Meshugenah wrote a review...



"but nobody cares where the old heroes go."

"And while playing Halo I broke my best controller."

I love these lines, and this pair, mostly for the second line:

"Ideas in my head are slowly forming;/I didn't used to think".

Other than that, I just don't know what to do with this poem of yours. I'm finding too many disjointed ideas lodged in and clamoring for space to get a clear sense of where and what I'm getting out of this, let alone what you intended. Like, you're almost torn between the serious and the ironic, and you couldn't decide which way to go. Just of what I quoted, the last is definitely ironic, the second has shades of each, and the first seems relatively serious.

If that is your intention, to mix the serious and ironic, I'd almost rather see the ironic begin and end, with any retrospection happen in the middle. That way, it feels more purposeful in ironic bent, rather than the meandering feeling I'm getting, now.

Anyway, I guess I think it's all just too much happening at once, and I'm not sure the effect is worth it, or achieves an end result.

I mean, as ironic commentary on a generation? Ok, I can buy it. But you can do so much more than just that.

(heck, your "old heroes" line just spawned half a poem for me)

Also, "them orphans" just is wrong. Like, as vernacular, I never hear that except when someone is trying to sound either uneducated or as if they're from a small town. "Them there" I could, however, much more readily buy - it's not quite as... off, I guess. Like, you go from classical mythology to "them", and it's just not clicking. I mean, for ironic intent, sure, but it's too much, I think. Then again, I also prefer overly subtle and concise to the point of not including essential words. So, there is that ^^

Anyhoo! Some lovely lines, and images I've already started to steal and rework, so something must be working ;)

<3




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Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:18 am
Rav1209 wrote a review...



i really wasn't sure if you were writing in the pov of hercules or not. and i also thought it was weird that only one if not a couple of lines rhymed so i wasnt sure if this was free verse or not. also it seemed there should have been a story to this or at least more to it.




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Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:59 pm
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murtuza wrote a review...



Hi Heather!

So my first impression of this piece is that it borders towards being interesting at first, but then goes on to sound like a bit of a ramble. My understanding of this poem is that it's a modern rendition of your take on Hercules's life? If so, there could have been instances where you could flesh out more of what this poem has to give.

The second line in your first stanza referring to Pan. Why so? Was it because he shared some special connection to Hercules? Pan wasn't the best candidate of a God to go for if you were referring to someone with such Godly virtues or someone that had a noble or important place in the histories of Greek myth with relation to Hercules (since Pan was more known for his lechery than his other deeds). Or maybe you felt the need to mention it because Pan was the only God ever known to have died. So this somewhat perplexed me. Although it made a bit of sense when you mentioned how people tend to have forgotten these legends. Even so, I'm sure there were more/other Greek Gods you could have also mentioned.

Since you've mentioned Megora's menopausing in present tense, I would assume you're referring to just before Hercules gets tricked into Killing her and his children by Juno. However, he's already seemed to have known that he has bipolar disorder which I'm not sure he actually realizes before or after he's already murdered his family.

Since Bipolar Disorder has to do with one having an extreme of emotions at times being overly positive and then being super-depressed to the point of hatred and anger, I would have liked you showing these qualities build on with the character as the poem progressed. You could provide sudden hints to this by showing his mood-swings or behaviours or reactions towards certain things. Not just merely cite it towards the end saying, 'oh, and by the way, I've got bipolar disorder'. It sounds a little too up-front without having shown any reason for the reader to actually comprehend why this was being mentioned.

The whole vibe and attitude I get from the poem makes it contradict the title. Since the title sounds really grand and great, the actual piece itself turns out a little short of that expectation of it being one of those conventional strongly worded poems with insight into Greek mythology and things. This is just a casual affair that tries to put in some relation to how the actual epic goes. And that too, a bit vaguely. Though I do get how the idea of these epics is being slowly forgotten in this day and age. And the transitions you've used to imply this message through those sudden random thoughts and ramblings bring about this understanding. Perhaps a little more flesh on the bone would make this a more fruitful affair, I feel. It somehow for me doesn't feel like it's a complete poem.

Another thing with the second line of the first stanza is that little pause in the middle with that period. When I read along with the poem and then come across that period, it gives me the illusion that I'm reading four lines when there are actually just 3 and this disrupts the flow a bit.

My aspect and understanding of what this poem is about may be a little off or not how you may have wanted it interpreted. I like how you've made this into a breezy and easily readable piece. It's like a simplified version of the story. Only, you've added a twist by adding modern elements that have obvious meaning with the poem itself. This was a great read and I'm glad you've shown me this. Keep the ink flowing, Heather!

Murtuza
:)




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Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:07 pm
barefootrunner wrote a review...



Hi, Rydia! It's me again, come to review.

Spelling and grammar: Only one: I do believe that you meant Megara, Hercules' first wife, and not Megora, the Swiss metal band. And the possibility of menopausal instead of menopausing. I like the effect of menopausing more, though, even if it is not strictly speaking grammatically correct.

The free verse style really adds to this work since it is a contemplative sort of poem.

I like the stanzas and shape, and the rhyming is good, but there is a battle going on in my brain between uniformity and the loveliness of the first stanza. I wouldn't want to change it, but it still doesn't fit in with the rest of the poem without that rhyme.

The final rhyming couplet is great, especially "bipolar" and "controller" rhyming.

I love your intelligent humour and style. Well written!





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