A new book caught my eye and I commend it to you for exploring the boundary between poetry and rhetoric. This is one in an increasing body of studies demonstrating the interplay across genre boundaries.
Homeric Speech and the Origins of Rhetoric
by Rachel Ahern Knudsen
(Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)
Homeric SpeechTraditionally, Homer's epics have been the domain of scholars and students interested in ancient Greek poetry, and Aristotle's rhetorical theory has been the domain of those interested in ancient rhetoric. Rachel Ahern Knudsen believes that this academic distinction between poetry and rhetoric should be challenged. Based on a close analysis of persuasive speeches in the Iliad, Knudsen argues that Homeric poetry displays a systematic and technical concept of rhetoric and that many Iliadic speakers in fact employ the rhetorical techniques put forward by Aristotle.