>Post Postmodernism Manifesto

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If all movements are reactions, then it’s clear that post postmodernism is a reaction to postmodernism. As such it will move away from the banal, the free form, and the ironic. It will relish the sublime, the subjectively universal, and the English Poets.  In short, it will participate in the tradition of classic literature.

My friend _. is working on his dissertation at Harvard, and in the meanwhile is creating a book of poems entitled “The Cold Wisdom of Northern Europe.” It will be a collection of imaginative translations and adaptations from Old English and Old Norse, with poems expanding upon scenes in Beowulf, Bede, the Edda, etc (a companion volume, entitled “The Hot Blood of the Mediterranean,” with poems from Latin and Greek, will come out in 2012). Here’s a taste.

THUS SPOKE ODIN:

Deigning one day to descend from above
Odin came before the Folk.
The people pressed him for wisdom pure
And this is what he spoke:

“Your dearest friends will dearly die
Your cattle will die too.
Your crops, your crown, all will crumble
All will die, even you.

I know one thing that does not die
One thing not doomed by death;
One thing alone that will live
As long as men have breath:

The reputation of the renowned dead!
This will perish never.
Strong through song and saga long
A man’s fame lives forever.

He who holds this in his head
Will sure live wise and well;
But the fool who fast forgets it
Will be consigned to hell.”

This poem is based, by the way, on four lines from the Old Norse poem Havamal, which is a wisdom poem put into the mouth of Odin. The four lines are as follows:

“Friends die, cattle die,
You yourself will die.
I know one thing that does not die,
The reputation of the dead.”

Published by Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Portland, Oregon. He studied literature and philosophy at NYU and creative writing at Edinburgh University. He is finishing an MFA in Fiction at University of South Carolina.

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