Epyllion Contest

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By PoetryPlease   |   Watch
1 38 2K (1 Today)
Published: November 9, 2007
Contest Winners

This race was a close one, but we finally have our winners. Thank you to everyone who participated; we really appreciate your dedication to poetry and PoetryPlease. Don't forget the purpose of this contest, to create an opening or exerpt to a much larger piece. Please keep working on your piece and turn it into a true epic - this may become important in the future...

First Place:   #2 "Blood Upon Snow" by *RickDanger
Second Place:  #8 "Aurora's Rose" by ~Aruchel
Third Place:  #10 "Untitled" by *Admytica

Prizes will be delivered as soon as possible. Thank you again and Merry Christmas!


First Place:

> a 1-year subscription or print of equal or lesser value, donated by *PunknEra
> a critique by GD ^PoeticWar and consideration for a Daily Deviation! (Note: to qualify for this prize, you must submit your poem as a deviation and note the link to PoetryPlease)

Second Place:

> a 6-month subscription or print of equal or lesser value, (provided by PoetryPlease)

Third Place:

> a 3-month subscription or print of equal or lesser value, (Donated by ~thecoolbeane)

Contest Entries

1. Galactic Storm by ~WindmillSlayer

He is beside her
floating in the celestial storm
as the cosmos lashes out at everything
and nothing
as another world is born
from the tears of angels

Words have failed, as all that could be said
was shared between hushed voices
and trembling lips

What can be said of two hearts
that long for the other
but one has already found
the one it wants?

So for the moment they float
together but not, both longing
for the love that cannot be
for the love they cannot share

She regrets that other love
but she cannot deny
her heartbeat

They ride where ever the storm
will take them
and they drift further from each other

Lament, a word that crashes through
his mind, behind closed eyes
shut so his tears
will not shed with hers
and will not feed the infant world
below them
it has already had its fill

Gone from sight, the storm, and she
have left

Spinning through the stars, he loses himself
to the sounds of galactic somethings
he remembers who he is

with a roar and a scream he stops,
denying the fate decreed
by that storm

He vows that he will return to
the world born of tears
He will find her

and their love, shall be

He Cries

And charges across and through the very stars

2. Blood Upon Snow by *RickDanger

Gone from a world in its last breath of Winter
This legend in runes is hereby remembered
On the evergreen soul of old hunters and beasts
By the song of winds and the mimicry of trees
For sons and daughters of a thousand realms worthy
In humble praise of divine lineage
Words be ready for the coming of miracles
Kind spirits return to the families' fire
Merry meet merry be in the darkest of nights
May glory be done and never forgotten

This story be told of the hero Nicholas
The warrior hunter among the wolves born
Between the black forest by the frozen lake
And the also nameless lone borealis
Where a hundred tribes would make him their king
By brilliance of landing unreachable land
By bravery of slaying all undying wraiths
By friendship between him and the elven kind
The farthest North gained a primordial ruler
But Nicholas soon became mad with such power

This is the true tale of mad king Nicholas
Of how he suffered for his paranoid greed
Of his life abandoned by his own people
Of the pledge he took to attain redemption
Of his quest to find a last magical creature
Of the just demand he made to the elves
Of his travels across the dark side of the world
Of all winter gifts he returned to the tribes
The divine fate of this hunter in exile
To celebrate kindness in the hearts of all men

3. Untitled by ~Error732

The first and first self-knowing truth was El,
Who sought to know all other truths as well.

This lonely god, this peerless god, was caught
In nothingness, a void unfilled by thought
Until he had his own. An reverie
That wondered what, when asked, could ever be.

And, as you know, as even man will find,
To learn is first to ask, to voice one's mind
In inquiry. To form a question first
Will often form an answer, or, at worst,
Define some prudent paths, that, at their ends
Will fork to further questions thought appends.

El thus began to formulate a phrase,
The first of words, and said the first of ways,
A question built of shapeless earth and cast
In heaven's form, as broad and wide and vast,
And there was light. A beacon knowledge shed
Upon an infant Earth and quickly wed
To Heaven's newfound brilliant, shining gates.
From this, he held the darkness, rival states
Of day and night, where comprehension shone
And what the void still guarded, still unknown.

Responding to resplendence, Heaven wrought
The constructs of cognition, godly thought,
And shadows' opposition. These, the first
Of angels, patterned choirs and dispersed
Through every sphere, to light the stars at dark
And give the sky's complexion Heaven's mark.

Below, where rested Earth's dry land and sea,
Grew grass, the herb of seed, and fruitful tree,
And all the valleys, fields, and hills grew rife
With greenery El questioned into life.

4. Untitled by *RenegadeBladesman

There’s a whisper in the wind
A murmur in the trees
A mutter in the grass
A sigh on the water
He has returned

The markets grow silent
The courtyards are empty
The stables are quiet
The streets are empty
For he has returned

They say he is a gallant hero
They say he is a feared villain
A knight of the gods of old
A fighter of the demons of old
Defender of all that is just
Destroyer of all that is fair

The palace opens its doors to him
The king smiles and welcomes him
The guard all bow with respect for him
The court maidens lay flowers in front of him
For he has returned home

Needing no more battles or war
He kneels before the throne
“My lord I have returned,
having slain men many in score,
my home this can no longer be
death has finally set me free”

Before all that stand around
He falls to the ground
His sword and shield shatter
As they will have no other master
He is laid to rest as a hero to all
No more will he answer war’s call

No one knew true the reason of his demise
Evil was vanquished all were lead to surmise
The seal on his back none did ever see
The last seal to set the demons free
Evil itself had risen once again
And now begins the final fall of men

5. Il Anor IV – The Strangers Story by ~jazblack009

The Stranger, my new neighbour
Now raised his hand for right
His fist edged rough by labour
And strengthened by his might
Battle scars beneath his coat
And a glimmer in his eye
Voice echoing a lower note
Breathe that smelt of rye

He did naught to explain it
And no one asked him why
There was no intro to admit
Just choice to live or die
It began with desperate fleeing
For lack of ammunition
That any other living being
Would run in his position
Refuge sought amongst the sand
From those that sought to maim
Sense had seemed to understand
Till pride lashed out in shame

For he wasn’t one to hide away
Sense pushed himself this far
Pride whipped around to face what may
Leave more than just a scar
He knew they were on horseback
Not too far behind
That to turn and face such attack
Would be to lose your mind
Thus the horizon forgot the sun
And the air was wrought with doom
A force of twenty charged to one
Their shadows stretched to loom

The stranger commented quickly
That he’d been paid to kill the lot
That to start with there’d been fifty
And twenty had not forgot
The horse’s hooves bred thunder
But it seemed a bit too loud
Was it a hearing blunder,
His brain had just allowed?
Just as twenty mad men turned,
Their weapons on man alone
The sand beneath him quickly churned
To reveal a ring of stone…

6. Untitled by ~UndeadGranola

The dragon’s fierce
Fiery breath
The lovers lost
In painful death
Dragon raises
His scaly head
Looks around
The boy is dead

His black dark scales
Shimmering bright
Our heroine
Has lost all sight
Her yellow mask
Marks deeper strength
Her blood soaked sword
Ten feet in length

Her fire eyes
Glint red and strong
Avenge her love
Whose death was wrong
She lifts her sword
Cries out in rage
She’s seen too much
For her young age

She swings her sword
At dragon’s fears
Her yellow mask
Filling with tears
When dragon bled
His cut far deep
Darkness started
With tears to weep

Dragon cried out
To angry gods
For some salvation
Against his odds
But young lady
With the yellow mask
Would not give heed
To what he ask

She slayed the beast
One final blow
Her cut was deep
Her mark was low
The dark devil
Dies at her feet
Sentenced to hell
By young girl’s feat

As lovely lady
Stood by her prize
She cried once more
For lover’s demise

7. The Rule of Maxria by *iznbodyzangel

In the beginning, in the kingdom of Sahranki
With the king and queen dying of consumption,
Narxia the Gold and Maxria the Red were called to equally rule.
As children of the crown,
Narxia and Maxria both loved each other well,
But both knew if the other was to rule
The kingdom would feast upon turmoil and drink pure famine.
In a field of lilies was where Narxia struck first,
But claws did wrap around his waist
And a hot breath breathed down, rusting his golden armor.
Klarxiabel teeth hung sharp and crooked
The stench, caused Maxria to faint.
Then Klarxiabel took flight with its captured prince.

The handsome monarch
Held the hearts of many buxom beauties
So their tears flooded out of their tiny heads.
As the strongest in the land,
She sharpened and fastened her armor,
Maxria set off to Klarxiabel’s abode
To finish what was started
With anger in her heart.

At the mouth of the forest,
The sky was dark and flaked with gold
And as the lightning struck, Maxria entered
Wielding her silver blade.
She went silently down into hell
In her weathered, vermilion armor
Intending to shed blood below.
Bowing her head before she proceeded,
She prayed to Nemesis that watched her
But before the end was whispered,
Not even the gods above would have foreseen.
The speed at which Klarxiabel knocked her into a wall
Maxria’s heart was beating but she had come to claim
Honor and blood to appease her tormented soul.

8. Aurora's Rose by ~Aruchel

The tumult of the ocean’s great advance,
Its vanguard pushing on, its subtle dance
First falling back, then rushing up once more,
A charge in vain, attempts to drown the shore –
Could not drown out the calls of one returned,
From trial and terror, glory truly earned.
A hero, greeted by one set apart.
For him, the rightful owner of his heart.
“I’ve come, I’m here, I’ve brought the gift you want!
The jewel of Dawn, the flower from the font
Of great Aurora, goddess of the sky;
A gift of marriage, joining you and I.
Across the sea, to furthest East I went,
A tower of gold, a lake of tears I spent,
To find the gates of Dawn, and venture in
Past phoenixes and lions, my own sin
Embodied in a hall of shining glass;
All trials none are ever meant to pass.
To reach her garden, seat of holy power,
Where in the centre grows her fiery flower -
And here it is, the flower of the flame.
I give it you, and so your hand I claim
As you had promised me, so long before,
If I’d bring Dawn’s great blossom to your shore.”
He falters, for she hasn’t said a word,
Nor moved toward him. For, although she heard
His claim full well above the crash of waves,
Her hardened heart a different master craves.
“Why should I ever answer to your call?
It is the bloom I want, not you at all.”

9. Epyllion of Aranand by *LyraAlluse

Forty thousand knights, valiant,
Rode against a desert storm,
Upon the backs of galloping stallions,
On to save their kingdom torn,
By hate and greed among the rich,
And fear among the poor,
Forty thousand knights on stallions,
Rode against a raging storm.

And fast they rode, under the moonlight,
Fates guided by the heavenly stars,
Their shadows were cast by the glowing sunlight,
As they passed through mountains large,
They rode across gold desert sands,
Pushed on by their forty black stallions,
As they rode through the twenty shattered lands,
Of their kingdom, Aranand.

They rode toward the evil king Marath,
Of the kingdom, Talanor,
Corrupted by his evil power,
Enslaving all who dared ignore,
His vindictive commands and unjust rule,
Over the world of Aravan,
A dark robed tyrant,
Merciless and cruel,
Forever seeking his revenge.

But forty thousand knights on stallions,
Rode through a desert storm,
They reached their kingdom’s place of Jade,
And Fought for their kingdom torn.
They battled Four hundred evil minions,
And conquered the evil king,
And then the forty thousand knights,
Returned the throne to the Queen.

10. Untitled by *Admytica

Breathing hard, the king awoke in the darkest night
Called he, “Get my magician! I have had a dreadful fright!”
The mage arrived, and knelt he down beside the royal bed
“Sire,” said he, “I’m here, explain what fills you so with dread.”
Quoth the king, “I saw a ship whose bough was crowned with flame
And unholy demons there were calling out my name
I saw the castle walls fall down and crumble into stone
And saw myself and all my kinfolk die and turn to bone
Then I saw an apple tree stand seven times in bloom
And seven times a woman fair was weaving on a loom
Suddenly, a presence glowed in the utter east
And landed twixt the villains, and then the fighting ceased
A spear struck one, and then another, then they all fell down
And where they fell a shining youngling wore a golden crown.
And thus it ends; interpret now, what could the message be?
What is the meaning of this dream that bodes such harm to me?”
“I fear, my lord,” the mage replied, “the Gods will make this true
The blood you saw, the pain, the death, they mean the end of you
And after seven years of war this youth will save the land.
The Gods do this to make him king – unless we thwart their plan.”

11. Phantom in Public by *british-doll

She adjusts her red-hot hipsters
they make her feel self conscious.
Her black-knee boots
so trendy at home
make her a sore thumb
in this oh-so foreign land.
Her new perfume
has hints of oranges
and she's not sure it suits her.
Her jacket is khaki.
She wants her wrap-around,
her safety in warmth
grey winter coat.
But it's gone, now.
Her top's not quite long enough.
Hence the adjusting of the jeans.

She contemplates Devils and Gods.
In all their un-pure forms.
This phantom in public
For minutes at a time,
that they do not see her.
Yet all over the place.

She has a job to do.
A vital employ to their services.
And when she is finished,
a year in the future,
she can return to her sacred residence.
Go back to loved ones
and a well-learnt routine.

Until then, she has a job to do.

12. Untitled by =TheRealNeix

O! Cloud-singers of Tadeni, windweavers
And midwives to reason and madness;
Cover the seas with storms and light
Fire upon my brow. A tale I spin
Of the deepest madness, sea long
And star bright, of brave Reamidis
And his broken camp in the midst
Of a battle of silver glass and gloom.
All Ibrinia stood against him, sent by
Their highest lord, crowned Tulcikis, and his priest,
To end his secret brother’s life, even though the high city
Was doomed to crumble by Vardania’s gauntlet.
Alas, there the wounded lines of Varda stood,
In the shadow of the citadel,
Caught between the storm on the sea
And the fire on the mountain.
All around the earth shook with the marching children of Ibris,
The eldest son of Tulcikis and eldest seer in death.
That old prophet sat now atop his temple throne and watched
Reamidis and his men strive against the stormy Ibrinian lines below.
Those red caps swirled and left the invaders spent,
All save their tall captain, standing atop a hill of the dead;
That one with blue sword yearning
And bright shield flexing, burned
With fire and blood of the sons of Ibris.
In his right hand, sea waves sounded against the cliffs;
Within his left, foreign horns blew against the hills.
Upon his back, the smoking hides of sundered foes;
Before his eyes, warm red steel and swollen battle lines.

13. Untitled by ~Pink401k

As the flowery landscape that once was
Is swept cleanly from the minds of the dead
The quite figure looms wordlessly overseeing
All the destruction and death.

Why must mankind be doomed?
Forever they create and destroy.
A tireless cycle with no end,
Until every last one is dead.

He looks again across the barren wasteland
Knowing all too well what had to be done
And turns softly on one heel
As if pushed by the hands of angels.

Striving endlessly, he reaches the battlefield.
A red mist arises from the decay and death
As the sun heats the crimson ground
And the deity looks down; a tear in his eye

With one strong push, he is airborne,
Flying to the center of the battlefield
And landing with a soft step,
Revealing himself to the fools he is to save.

Unsheathing his sword, swaggering slightly
He sighs deeply, and proceeds sadly.
As he stares into the eyes of every soldier,
Into their lives; their wives’ and children’s.

He takes his last breath, sacrificing everything
For this doomed race of barbarians and fools
So they might learn from their stupidity
And become something more.

As light engulfs every last warrior,
Burning their corpses, scarring their souls
The man crumples to his knees, his life expended
For momentary peace; a wasted effort.

For as he and the soldier’s crumple to the ground
Their infants look on, in awe and hatred
Vowing once more, to avenge their fathers
And foolishly face the gods.

Contest Details

The goal of this contest is to write a EPYLLION.

An EPYLLION is a "little epic", literally a shorter version of the very long epic poem. An epic poem is a narrative describing the heroic acts of a central character and surrounds a romantic and/or mythological theme. Examples of an epic would be The Iliad by Homer and Paradise Lost by John Milton. An epic traditionally focusses on its oral quality, meaning that it flows when spoken aloud (though not particularly by means of a rigid meter).

There are 6 main characteristics of an epic:

:bulletred: the hero is of imposing stature, of national or international importance, and of great historical or legendary significance
:bulletred: the setting is vast, covering many nations, the worlds or the universe
:bulletred: the action consists of deeds of great valor or requiring superhuman courage
:bulletred: supernatural forces--gods, angels, demons--interest themselves in the action
:bulletred: a style of sustained elevation is used (meaning it is action packed, adventurous, and exciting)
:bulletred: the poet retains a measure of objectivity (meaning the poem is not told from a first-person perspective)

This information and more can be found here.

You are asked to write an EPYLLION of no more than 250 words. The intent of this contest is for you to write as though this EPYLLION is an exerpt or intro to a much larger story. You are not expected to fully incorporate all 6 of the above characteristics into your poem (ie, you may not be able to fit a god or demon into 250 words, or describe the entire setting you've dreamed up), but you must convey the sense that your story is big enough that it could extend further. We do not want a happy ending wrapped up with a pretty bow as this poem should be the beginning or middle of a much bigger picture. Hopefully, in time, after the contest is over, you will expand on the story and continue to develop it on your own.

We are encouraging prose writers and those who tend towards fantasy fiction to take part, but it is important to remember that this is a poetry contest. Poetry is made up of phrases, not always complete sentences. Adding line breaks to a prose piece, does not make it poetry. If you would like more information about what defines a poem or about this particular style of poetry, stop by our chat room and ask one of our editors, laureates, or the authority itself, PoetryPlease.

It is important that your poem NOT be already submitted as a deviation. Any poems submitted as a deviation will be disqualified. To submit your entry for the contest, send a note to PoetryPlease with "Epyllion Contest" in the subject line and the poem itself in the body. If you want your poem to have a title, please include it in your note. DO NOT leave your poem as a comment. Please read our contest rules for more information on eligibility.

We are waiving the members-only rule for this contest only. We are confident that upon participating in the contest and spending some time getting to know our club and its members that you would like to join. If you would like to become a member of PoetryPlease now, click here.

Good Reference Points:

Plot outline and excerpt from The Iliad by Homer: link
Excerpt from Paradise Lost by Milton: link
The Modern Epic: link


Due to the vastness of this contest, we are providing participants nearly a month to write a truly unique, quality piece. You have until Sunday, December 2, 2007 to write, so start writing - NOW!
© 2007 - 2019 PoetryPlease
This contest is closed and complete. Thank you to all who participated.
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Comments (31)
LyraAlluse's avatar
LyraAlluse|Professional General Artist
Good job to the winners! ^_^ The poems were beautiful. ^_-
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Elmara's avatar
Elmara|Student Writer
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poeticdream09's avatar
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Sharzela's avatar
Sharzela|Student Artist
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Elorine's avatar
Elorine|Hobbyist Writer
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Sapient-Butterfly's avatar
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Pink401k's avatar
Erm... Mine is 264 words... Is that too many? There's no way i can cut it down.
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PoetryPlease's avatar
250 word max, it's in the rules. You'll need to find a way. But please do, we'd love to see what you've come up with :)
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Pink401k's avatar
Darn, this is going to be really hard.
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PoetryPlease's avatar
Well, we don't want the contest to be too easy, now do we? ;)
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Aruchel's avatar
I'm a tad confused about the submission process... we send the poem in as a note, without loading it as a deviation? Or do we load a deviation and send a note in about it?
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PoetryPlease's avatar
Do not post it as a deviation. Submissions are to remain anonymous until the voting process is complete and a winner is chosen. Send your submission pasted in the body of a note. Thanks!
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