Wednesday, May 15, 2013


McKenzie Bodkin (aka storyteller Odds Bodkin) announces the launch of his KICKSTARTER to record his epic, The Water Mage's Daughter.  Please visit his CAMPAIGN PAGE and support his epic storytelling project!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Scholars guess that as Homer recited his Iliad and Odyssey, he chanted his verses and added inflections for characters.  He also plucked his lyre, tapping the emotion of music.  Of course, epics like his were originally meant to be heard and not read in the mostly illiterate ancient Greece of 800 B.C.  Only when scribes were summoned to capture the blind man's performances and set them down did what were essentially performances solidify into the works we know today.

Doing the opposite, I'm on Kickstarter to raise funds to record my Water Mage's Daughter epic with voices and music.  Here's the link to the preview:

I hope you'll take a look!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Professor Martha C. Taylor, Chair of Classics at Loyola University Maryland has posted a review on Amazon.  Here's what she writes:

"In this extraordinary verse novel, author McKenzie Bodkin has written a modern-day epic set in a medieval-like world of demons, ogres, young love and magic. To his enormous credit, Mr. Bodkin’s verse works. He uses three different rhyme schemes in the three large canticles of the song, while using an 8-beat line (or iambic tetrameter) throughout, and as he describes it in the introduction, the rhythmic rhyming lines soon work their own magic on the reader and create a hypnotic  attachment to the story. The verse does not get in the way of the plot, rather, one delights in reading it, not least to marvel at the clever effects Mr. Bodkin creates. Here is a fine example from Canticle III, Canto XXVII:

“When of our true and chosen course
We finally are sure, recourse
To second measures should not do.
To work our art upon the few
Rogue elements to whom our skill
Is useful, well, best not to kill
Time thinking. No, it’s best to act,
To jell our fictions into fact
So that the world around us knows
That we were here, and what we chose
To do, we did.” So Devlin thought . . .

How’s that for a hero urging himself to action?

It is clear from passages like this and the folkloric and epic themes that Mr. Bodkin weaves into his tale, that he has read his Odyssey and Iliad and Beowulf and uses all he learned from those great works to fashion his modern epic.

His story has young lovers, demons, evil Mages who oppress the people, a cursed prince in search of redemption and his kingdom, ogres and an ogre queen, magic trees and an ultimate fight for good and evil that (because this is a modern epic) both the hero and the heroine lead. He weaves various subplots together skillfully until they all come together in the grand tapestry of the final battle.

This work is nothing like anything else you will find. It is clearly a labor of love, and we are the beneficiaries of Mr. Bodkin’s obsession. Anyone who loves words will delight in this text.  Consider these lines, from Canticle II, Canto II, as Gudrunlod, the heroine responds to an impertinent suitor’s quip:

“At that, cap lifted in the air,
An ox he patted, stepped aside,

And cocked his eye to see how she
Responded to his throaty purr.
    “Ho sir,” she said, “how gallantly
You rescue me from, as it were,
Nothing at all, save privacy.”

I laughed out loud when I read that passage. What a triumph to manage such a succinct characterization of his heroine while doing it in rhyming verse!

I have nothing else to say but:  “Read this book!”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Very Pleased Poet

Okay, all you millions of readers of Dante, Homer and Milton,

Madness comes in all forms.  In my case, it was to write this epic in iambic tetrameter and take joy in people reading it, reveling in the lines and seeing its wry humor and over-the-top, unconstrained, joyous philosophical hubris.
 Well, some are and some do!

Here are some interesting Amazon reviews of the biggest poem in 400 years:

“Magic, youthful exuberance, emerging power, love, betrayal, greed, demons, sadness, wisdom, redemption. It's all there, in a wonderfully captivating tale, well told. It has been years since I found a book such as this, one that I could not put down.”  Amazon reader (male)

“The great thing about this book is that it's fun, it's heroic, it's a little sexy, a little violent -- and it makes you use your mind.” Amazon reader (male)

“How is the author going to enthrall me in verse? How does he find so many words to rhyme? How does he maintain the structure while keeping the story compelling and interesting? Soon, I was engrossed in the story for the story alone, which I feel is a major accomplishment by Mr. Bodkin.” Amazon reader (female)

You can buy The Water Mage's Daughter on Amazon from a very pleased poet.

"Come now, Father, no argument.
Yes, body's poor and yours is spent!
That's certain.  Yet, feed it we must.
Without it, thought's gold is but rust."

So says Gudrunlod to Harcto, her fallen water mage father, on the dunes above Peloon.  At this point in the tale, she is unaware that she is a heresy.