The Epic of Clair

I’ve just read an engaging “Young Adult” long poem about a post-apocalyptic Minnesota-St. Paul in which the consequences of a major economic collapse are imaginatively evoked. The scenario is more convincingly devised than the ones seen in the Hunger Games movies and in Divergent, and it makes room for a fascinating variety of characters and ideological groups. The heroine, Clair the runner, is quite captivating, and I was charmed by her sweetness, toughness, and heart. It’s by Eric Charles Hanson, just out with Ilium Press.

By Frederick Turner

Professor, poet, lecturer, black belt, and more.

4 replies on “The Epic of Clair”

Thank you for this. I too was less than convinced with Hunger Games and Divergent even while very aware that the post-apocalyptic genre has been rattling around in our heads for at least seventy years, no doubt not without very good reason. To those add The Giver, though its essential themes Save the Baby and Remember are captivating. I look forward to Hanson’s poem.

Marly Youmans’ Thaliad (2012) is a narrative, epic poem that deals with a group of children recreating a small society in a post-apocalyptic setting. It’s well done, affecting and impressive

Well into Epic of Clair. Quite delightful, and exemplary in its clarity. The sociology of the Twin Cities is recognizable — partial collapse just moves the line between haves and have nots. If I’d read it sooner I could have given it to nieces for Christmas. Next year.

The poem is not iambic pentameter in any meaningful sense, but it is verse in the most meaningful sense, using rhythmic units to heighten the intensity of speech.

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