On the Responsible Representation of Heroes
Evans, Garrett Victor
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This paper offers a contemporary understanding of the term "hero," and examines methods poets use to responsibly engage in the act of heroification, beginning with Homer before moving to work by contemporary poets Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, and Roger Reeves. Building on the ideas of Allen Grossman, Horace, and Simone Weil, the paper discusses what it means to make heroic figures "weepable" and acknowledgeable using writing, and how to avoid or temper the inevitable objectification that comes with writing poems about real people, even if the poet's intent is to honor.
- English