Before reading Percy Jackson, I’d been exposed to greek myths and the children’s version of The Canterbury Tales, but for some reason this book series changed the way I look at literature.
Yes, it’s a fantastical series. Yes, I know that even though the writing and characters are pretty amazing, they aren’t the epitome of literary art. But that doesn’t change the fact that the way Rick Riordan brings history and classic stories into his books, can be eye-opening to someone who would otherwise not have cared about The Odyssey or The Illiad.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve always loved history. I find old traditions and ways of life fascinating. But the truth of the matter is that most probably I would’ve never gone beyond reading a contemporary historian’s take on history. I would never have read the original text of an ancient author referenced in history books. Until Percy Jackson.
Besides Professor Carol, Percy Jackson is one of the main influences on my decision about how I am going to go about studying humanities. Now I want to read Homer and Virgil and Plato and Goethe. I want to read the books that influenced the people of the times I wish to study. I want to feel what they felt. I once swore I would never read Shakespeare, now I read him for fun.
So to sum up, the Three Things I Learned from Percy Jackson are:
- Old books are essential to understanding old ideas and old people. No modern author can capture it the same.
- Never make an oath you can’t keep.
- Everyone needs a metal dragon in their lives.
And in honor of my childhood obsession with PJ which still continues to this day, I’d like to share a poem I wrote years ago, when I was reading one PJ book a day.
Not Much R. R.
Deep in the labyrinth, Daedalus stirs.
Between Charybdis and Scylla,
I hope my ship will not sink,
In the Sea of Monsters, down deep.
Aries the bighead,
Furious is he,
Because he was defeated by the son of the sea.
The boy that will save or raze.
The Titan’s curse
The son of Thieves,
The cursed blade will reap.
Daughter of Wisdom shall cry,
Over the lost hero that never said goodbye.
A boy who flies she shall find,
One shoe off, one shoe on.
Flying warships in New Rome,
The daughter of Pluto,
The son of Mars.
In the depths of Tartarus,
The world is left behind.
Rivers of fire.
Houses of Hades.
Over Dirt Face,
The Blood of Olympus shall prevail.
by the Author