‘The First Poets’: Starting With Orpheus

Camille Paglia in The New York Times:

Pagl184 Ancient Greece is the fountainhead of Western culture and politics. As Michael Schmidt demonstrates in ”The First Poets,” the evolution from aristocratic rule to democracy in Greece was accompanied by the emergence of a strongly individualistic lyric poetry. While the Hebrew Bible, the other major source of Western literature, expresses a God-centered view of the universe, Greek literature gradually freed itself from the sacred to focus on the uniquely human voice.

More here.