Just dug up this little gem I wrote to myself some time ago while reading the Georgics, wondering why it wasn't much mentioned in my undergraduate days. I was reading David Ferry's translation at the time and thought I would have liked to encounter The Georgics at least as much as The Aeneid in my classes. Here's the blast from the past:
I'm opposed to war poems because they tend to be boring. Yeah, I get it, a lot of people died, women were raped, gold was taken, civilizations fell and civilizations rose. Blah, blah, blah. Tell me how to harvest apples, how to breed oxen, how to keep bees. Show me how life itself can be conquered day in, day out. Well, thank you, Virgil, thank you for that.
Pretty simplistic, yes, and I want to note now that I don't know what I'd do without the war poems of Wilfred Owen or, for that matter, Brian Turner (and many in between), but I think I hold to this preference most of the time. I don't like the poetry of daily life because it's cozy and warm, but because daily life is itself a war, one way or the other.
I'd also like to write a great big didactic poem like The Georgics one day. Too bad I know jack squat about nuttin.