National Poetry Month: Epics


It’s a genre of poetry that is a lengthy narrative that features heroic deeds and contains the basis of the culture. The oldest recorded epic is The Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s believed that epics predate literacy. Epics were performed orally, broken into to numerous significant parts to make them easy to remember.


  • Has a hero that is the embodiment of the civilizations values
  • Starts in the middle of an event and backstory is filled in as the narrative continues
  • Doesn’t take place in one setting; the setting is always vast, spanning over several areas
  • Contains divine interventions


  • The Epic of Gilgamesh DB019137
  • Paradise Lost DB031889
  • Beowulf DB049742
The word EPIC appears in gold letters surrounded by blurry faded EPIC in the 4 corners of the image. The background is the sun in the sky in the center of the image and clouds spiraling upwards to the sun.

The word EPIC appears in gold letters surrounded by blurry faded EPIC in the 4 corners of the image.

April marks National Poetry Month! Throughout this month we will share information about some of the varying poetry styles practiced today and a little bit about their history. The purpose of the month is to increase the awareness and appreciation of poetry, and maybe help a few people find their inner poet talent.

About nclbph

The North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NCLBPH) is a special public library that circulates books and magazines especially made for persons who cannot use regular printed material because of a visual or physical disability. The library is located in Raleigh, but mails materials throughout the state. The NCLBPH is a state agency operated by the State Library of North Carolina as a part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It is also a part of the network of regional libraries operated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).
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