When my husband (who is not a poet and does not read much poetry) sat down to compare the prose Odyssey with the recent much-lauded Robert Fagles's verse translation, he discovered that the narratives match extremely well and that the Fagles translation IS A MUCH MORE EXCITING READ.
So if the prose translation is (1) more boring than the verse translation and (2) far less beautiful and compelling than poetry, why are high schools continuing to teach Homer as prose? Because they don't want to buy new books--or can't afford to do so? Or do teachers assume that budding students of English literature don't need to know that the Odyssey is actually a poem?
I find this situation very disturbing. Is my son's high school unusual, or are other schools also teaching epic poetry as prose?