Gethsemane: An Epic Poem About Us by R. Douglas Jacobs

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I don’t know about you, but as a reader, there are times that I need to step outside of the usual and try something new. Gethsemane was so far outside my comfort zone that it’s hard to know where to start talking about it.

It’s an epic poem…woah, there Nelly, the last time I read one of those was by force in high school and let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Gethsemane was different and not only because I wasn’t being forced to read it. Perhaps the author explains it best…

Gethsemane is not your epic poem in the traditional sense. Its body of work is composed as an ode in three acts, but formatted as a linear narrative that is divided by one hundred forty-eight verses that read like sonnets. Each stanza (or poetic sentence) is no longer than twelve syllables in length, and each ends in a unique rhyme. Not a single rhyme was repeated, which accentuates the melodic beauty of each verse.

The key for me here was the “melodic beauty”, it was lyrical in a really calming non-Gilgamesh way. Music also plays a big part in the author’s original conception and that was a huge part of the overall reading experience. Jacobs went above and beyond for the audio version of the work (note: I say work, I don’t see this as just a book.) and he was kind enough to send me both the audio and printed version. There’s a sense of fullness and commitment that is such a unique experience that it’s hard to describe.

 

My thoughts? Obviously, I’m a bit dumbfounded on how to describe it…it wasn’t anything like reading or listening to a book, more like experiencing it.  It left me in an amazing meditative state and the entire concept just continues to blow me away. I may have to listen a few more times to allow it to really sink in.

 

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