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Poetry (derived from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
''
poiesis In philosophy, ''poiesis'' (from grc, ποίησις) is "the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before." ''Poiesis'' is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek term ποιεῖν, which means "to ma ...
'', "making") is a form of
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expan ...

literature
that uses
aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines subjective and ...

aesthetic
and often
rhythm Rhythm (from , ''rhythmos'', "any regular motion, " generally means a " marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can ap ...
ic qualities of
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
− such as
phonaesthetics Phonaesthetics (also spelled phonesthetics in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up t ...
,
sound symbolism In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
, and
metre The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English o ...
− to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, a
prosaic Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing syst ...
ostensible
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
. A poem is a literary composition written utilising this principle. Poetry has a long and varied
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
, evolving differentially across the globe. It dates back at least to prehistoric times with hunting poetry in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
, and to panegyric and elegiac court poetry of the empires of the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
,
Niger ) , official_languages = French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primar ...

Niger
, and
Volta River The Volta River is the main river system In geomorphology incised into shale at the foot of the North Caineville Plateau, Utah, within the pass carved by the Fremont River and known as the Blue Gate. GK Gilbert studied the landscapes of this ...

Volta River
valleys. Some of the earliest written poetry in Africa occurs among the
Pyramid Texts The Pyramid Texts are the oldest ancient Egyptian funerary texts The literature that makes up the ancient Egyptian funerary texts is a collection of religious documents that were used in ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of A ...
written during the 25th century BCE. The earliest surviving Western Asian
epic poetry An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary people who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal ...
, the ''
Epic of Gilgamesh The ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' () is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with ...
'', was written in
Sumerian
Sumerian
. Early poems in the
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as cont ...

Eurasia
n continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese ''Shijing'', as well as religious
hymn A hymn is a type of song, usually religious and partially coincident with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. T ...

hymn
s (the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
''
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an of s (''suktas''). It is one of the four sacred canonical (') known as the . The ''Rigveda'' is the oldest known text. Its early layers are one of the oldes ...
'', the
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōro ...
''Gathas'', the ''
Hurrian songs The Hurrian songs are a collection of music inscribed in cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from t ...
'', and the Hebrew ''
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh ...

Psalms
''); or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Egyptian ''
Story of Sinuhe ''The Story of Sinuhe'' (also known as Sanehat) Retrieved November 6, 2018. is considered one of the finest works of ancient Egyptian literature. It is a narrative set in the aftermath of the death of Pharaoh Amenemhat I, founder of the Twelfth D ...
'', the
Indian epic poetry Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called ''Kavya'' (or ''Kāvya''; Sanskrit: काव्य, IAST: ''kāvyá''). The ''Ramayana'' and the ''Mahabharata'', which were originally composed in S ...
, and the
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
ic epics, the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and the ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
''. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
's ''Poetics'', focused on the uses of
speech Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, ...
in
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...
,
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...

drama
,
song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...

song
, and
comedy Comedy (from the el, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humor Humour (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic la ...

comedy
. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition,
verse form Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre (poetry), metre—to ...
, and
rhyme A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds (usually, exactly the same sound) in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words. Most often, this kind of perfect rhyming is consciously used for a musical or aesthetic e ...
, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively-informative
prosaic Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing syst ...
writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretations of words, or to evoke
emotive
emotive
responses. Devices such as
assonance Assonance is a resemblance in the sounds of words/syllables either between their vowels (e.g., ''meat, bean'') or between their consonants (e.g., ''keep, cape''). However, assonance between consonants is generally called ''consonance'' in American ...
,
alliteration In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definiti ...
,
onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia (also onomatopeia in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cu ...

onomatopoeia
, and
rhythm Rhythm (from , ''rhythmos'', "any regular motion, " generally means a " marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can ap ...
may convey
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...

music
al or
incantatory
incantatory
effects. The use of
ambiguity Ambiguity is a type of meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * ...
,
symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...

symbol
ism,
irony Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...

irony
, and other stylistic elements of
poetic dictionPoetic diction is the term used to refer to the linguistic literary genre, style, the vocabulary, and the metaphors used in the writing of poetry. In the Western tradition, all these elements were thought of as properly different in poetry and prose ...
often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, figures of speech such as
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
,
simile A simile () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
, and
metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
establish a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm. Some poetry types are unique to particular
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
s and
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...

genre
s and respond to characteristics of the language in which the
poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, soun ...

poet
writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with
Dante Dante Alighieri (), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to Mononymous person, simply as Dante (, also ; – 1321), was an Italian poetry, Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origina ...

Dante
,
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist. His works include: four novels; epic poetry, epic and lyric poetry; prose ...

Goethe
,
Mickiewicz
Mickiewicz
, or
Rumi Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), (also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mowlānā (, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (, "my master")) more popularly known simply as Rumi ( ...

Rumi
may think of it as written in
lines Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) (also known as long interspersed nucleotide elements or long interspersed elements) are a group of non-LTR (long terminal repeat A long terminal repeat (LTR) is a pair of identical sequences of DNA ...
based on
rhyme A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds (usually, exactly the same sound) in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words. Most often, this kind of perfect rhyming is consciously used for a musical or aesthetic e ...
and regular
meter The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...
. There are, however, traditions, such as
Biblical poetry The ancient Hebrews The terms ''Hebrews'' ( / , Modern Hebrew, Modern: ' / ', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian: ' / '; ISO 259-3: ' / ') and ''Hebrew people'' are mostly taken as synonymous with the ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-spe ...
, that use other means to create rhythm and
euphony Phonaesthetics (also spelled phonesthetics in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the A ...

euphony
. Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, testing the principle of euphony itself or altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In an increasingly
globalized Globalization, or globalisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences), is the process of foreign relation ...

globalized
world, poets often adapt forms, styles, and techniques from diverse cultures and languages. Poets have contributed to the evolution of the linguistic, expressive, and utilitarian qualities of their languages. A Western cultural tradition (extending at least from
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
to
Rilke René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke (), was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is co ...

Rilke
) associates the production of poetry with
inspiration Inspiration, inspire, or inspired often refers to: * Artistic inspiration, sudden creativity in artistic production * Biblical inspiration, the doctrine in Judeo-Christian theology concerned with the divine origin of the Bible * Creative inspirati ...
– often by a
Muse In ancient Greek religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and Greek mythology, mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and Cult (religious practice), cult practi ...

Muse
(either classical or contemporary).


History


Early works

Some scholars believe that the art of poetry may predate
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
and developed from folk
epics The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) is a set of software tools and applications used to develop and implement Distributed control system, distributed control systems to operate devices such as Particle accelerator, parti ...
and other oral genres. Others, however, suggest that poetry did not necessarily predate writing. The oldest surviving epic poem, the ''
Epic of Gilgamesh The ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' () is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with ...
'', dates from the 3rd millenniumBCE in
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
(in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
, present-day
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
), and was written in
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
script on clay tablets and, later, on
papyrus Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, ''Cyperus papyrus'', a wetland sedge. ''Papyrus'' (plural: ''papyri'') can also refer to a do ...

papyrus
. The Istanbul tablet #2461, dating to 2000BCE, describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess
Inanna Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the ...
to ensure fertility and prosperity; some have labelled it the world's oldest love poem. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is ''The Story of Sinuhe'' (c. 1800 BCE). Other ancient epics includes the Greek ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and the ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
''; the Persian
Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian ...
books (the ''
Yasna Yasna (;"Yasna"
''
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
national epic A national epic is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthe ...
,
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
's ''
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
'' (written between 29 and 19 BCE); and the
Indian epics Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called ''Kavya'' (or ''Kāvya''; Sanskrit: काव्य, IAST: ''kāvyá''). The ''Ramayana'' and the ''Mahabharata'', which were originally composed in S ...
, the ''
Ramayana ''Rāmāyana'' (; sa, रामायणम्, ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism, the other being the ''Mahabharata, Mahābhārata''. The epi ...

Ramayana
'' and the ''
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
''. Epic poetry appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission in ancient societies. Other forms of poetry, including such ancient collections of religious
hymn A hymn is a type of song, usually religious and partially coincident with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. T ...

hymn
s as the Indian
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
-language ''
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an of s (''suktas''). It is one of the four sacred canonical (') known as the . The ''Rigveda'' is the oldest known text. Its early layers are one of the oldes ...
'', the Avestan ''Gathas'', the ''
Hurrian songs The Hurrian songs are a collection of music inscribed in cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from t ...
'', and the Hebrew ''
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh ...

Psalms
'', possibly developed directly from
folk song Folk music is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all hu ...

folk song
s. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of
Chinese poetry Chinese poetry is poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in S ...
, the ''
Classic of Poetry The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry Chinese po ...
'' (''Shijing''), were initially
lyrics Lyrics are word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many lang ...
. The Shijing, with its collection of poems and folk songs, was heavily valued by the philosopher
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
and is considered to be one of the official
Confucian classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the " Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confucian ...
. His remarks on the subject have become an invaluable source in . The efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, and what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "
poetics Poetics is the theory of literary forms and literary discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the ...

poetics
"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through the ''Shijing'', developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More recently, thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's and
Matsuo Bashō born then was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, ...
's ''
Oku no Hosomichi ''Oku no Hosomichi'' (, originally , meaning "Narrow road to/of the interior"), translated alternately as ''The Narrow Road to the Deep North'' and ''The Narrow Road to the Interior'', is a major work of ''haibun'' by the List of Japanese languag ...
'', as well as differences in content spanning Hebrew Bible, Tanakh Biblical poetry, religious poetry, love poetry, and rapping, rap. File:The oldest love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037-2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul.jpg, The oldest known love poem. Sumerian Istanbul 2461, terracotta tablet #2461 from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul File:Confucius the scholar.jpg, The philosopher
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
was influential in the developed approach to poetry and . File:Manuscript from Shanghai Museum 1.jpg, An early Chinese
poetics Poetics is the theory of literary forms and literary discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the ...

poetics
, the ''Kǒngzǐ Shīlùn'' (孔子詩論), discussing the ''Shijing'' (''Classic of Poetry'')


Western traditions

Classical thinkers in the Western culture, West employed classification as a way to define and assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
's ''Poetics'' describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, and the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the perceived underlying purposes of the genre. Later Aesthetics, aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, and Verse drama and dramatic verse, dramatic poetry, treating
comedy Comedy (from the el, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humor Humour (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic la ...

comedy
and tragedy as Genre, subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Later poets and aestheticians often distinguished poetry from, and defined it in opposition to prose, which they generally understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure. This does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought-process. English Romantic poetry, Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "negative capability". This "romantic" approach views form (disambiguation), form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into the 20th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, there was also substantially more interaction among the various poetic traditions, in part due to the spread of European colonialism and the attendant rise in global trade. In addition to a boom in translation, during the Romantic period numerous ancient works were rediscovered.


20th-century and 21st-century disputes

Some 20th-century Literary theory, literary theorists rely less on the ostensible opposition of prose and poetry, instead focusing on the poet as simply one who creation (disambiguation), creates using language, and poetry as what the poet creates. The underlying concept of the poet as creative work, creator is not uncommon, and some modernist poetry, modernist poets essentially do not distinguish between the creation of a poem with words, and creative acts in other media. Yet other modernists challenge the very attempt to define poetry as misguided. The rejection of traditional forms and structures for poetry that began in the first half of the 20th century coincided with a questioning of the purpose and meaning of traditional definitions of poetry and of distinctions between poetry and prose, particularly given examples of poetic prose and prosaic poetry. Numerous modernist poets have written in non-traditional forms or in what traditionally would have been considered prose, although their writing was generally infused with poetic diction and often with rhythm and Tone (literature), tone established by Metre (poetry), non-metrical means. While there was a substantial New Formalism, formalist reaction within the modernist schools to the breakdown of structure, this reaction focused as much on the development of new formal structures and syntheses as on the revival of older forms and structures. Postmodernism goes beyond modernism's emphasis on the creative role of the poet, to emphasize the role of the reader of a text (hermeneutics), and to highlight the complex cultural web within which a poem is read. Today, throughout the world, poetry often incorporates poetic form and diction from other cultures and from the past, further confounding attempts at definition and classification that once made sense within a tradition such as the Western canon. The early 21st-century poetic tradition appears to continue to strongly orient itself to earlier precursor poetic traditions such as those initiated by Walt Whitman, Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson, and William Wordsworth, Wordsworth. The literary critic Geoffrey Hartman (1929–2016) used the phrase "the anxiety of demand" to describe the contemporary response to older poetic traditions as "being fearful that the fact no longer has a form", building on a trope introduced by Emerson. Emerson had maintained that in the debate concerning poetic structure where either "form" or "fact" could predominate, that one need simply "Ask the fact for the form." This has been challenged at various levels by other literary scholars such as Harold Bloom, Bloom (1930–2019), who has stated: "The generation of poets who stand together now, mature and ready to write the major American verse of the twenty-first century, may yet be seen as what Stevens called 'a great shadow's last embellishment,' the shadow being Emerson's."


Elements


Prosody

Prosody is the study of the meter,
rhythm Rhythm (from , ''rhythmos'', "any regular motion, " generally means a " marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can ap ...
, and Intonation (linguistics), intonation of a poem. Rhythm and meter are different, although closely related. Meter is the definitive pattern established for a verse (such as iambic pentameter), while rhythm is the actual sound that results from a line of poetry. Prosody also may be used more specifically to refer to the scansion, scanning of poetic lines to show meter.


Rhythm

The methods for creating poetic rhythm vary across languages and between poetic traditions. Languages are often described as having timing set primarily by stress-timed language, accents, syllable-timed language, syllables, or mora-timed language, moras, depending on how rhythm is established, though a language can be influenced by multiple approaches. Japanese Language, Japanese is a mora (linguistics), mora-timed language. Latin language, Latin, Catalan language, Catalan, French language, French, Leonese language, Leonese, Galician language, Galician and Spanish language, Spanish are called syllable-timed languages. Stress-timed languages include English language, English, Russian language, Russian and, generally, German language, German. Varying Intonation (linguistics), intonation also affects how rhythm is perceived. Languages can rely on either pitch or tone. Some languages with a pitch accent are Vedic Sanskrit or Ancient Greek. Tonal languages include Chinese, Vietnamese and most Niger–Congo languages, Subsaharan languages. Metrical rhythm generally involves precise arrangements of stresses or syllables into repeated patterns called foot (prosody), feet within a line. In Modern English verse the pattern of stresses primarily differentiate feet, so rhythm based on meter in Modern English is most often founded on the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables (alone or elision, elided). In the classical languages, on the other hand, while the Meter (music), metrical units are similar, vowel length rather than stresses define the meter. Old English poetry used a metrical pattern involving varied numbers of syllables but a fixed number of strong stresses in each line. The chief device of ancient Hebrew language, Hebrew
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, including many of the psalms, was ''parallelism (rhetoric), parallelism'', a rhetorical structure in which successive lines reflected each other in grammatical structure, sound structure, notional content, or all three. Parallelism lent itself to antiphonal or call and response (music), call-and-response performance, which could also be reinforced by Intonation (linguistics), intonation. Thus, Biblical poetry relies much less on metrical feet to create rhythm, but instead creates rhythm based on much larger sound units of lines, phrases and sentences. Some classical poetry forms, such as Venpa of the Tamil language, had rigid grammars (to the point that they could be expressed as a context-free grammar) which ensured a rhythm. Shi (poetry), Classical Chinese poetics, based on the Four tones (Middle Chinese), tone system of Middle Chinese, recognized two kinds of tones: the level (平 ''píng'') tone and the oblique (仄 ''zè'') tones, a category consisting of the rising (上 ''sháng'') tone, the departing (去 ''qù'') tone and the entering (入 ''rù'') tone. Certain forms of poetry placed constraints on which syllables were required to be level and which oblique. The formal patterns of meter used in Modern English verse to create rhythm no longer dominate contemporary English poetry. In the case of free verse, rhythm is often organized based on looser units of Cadence (poetry), cadence rather than a regular meter. Robinson Jeffers, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams are three notable poets who reject the idea that regular accentual meter is critical to English poetry. Jeffers experimented with sprung rhythm as an alternative to accentual rhythm.


Meter

In the Western poetic tradition, meters are customarily grouped according to a characteristic Foot (prosody), metrical foot and the number of feet per line. The number of metrical feet in a line are described using Greek terminology: tetrameter for four feet and hexameter for six feet, for example. Thus, "iambic pentameter" is a meter comprising five feet per line, in which the predominant kind of foot is the "Iamb (poetry), iamb". This metric system originated in ancient Greek poetry, and was used by poets such as Pindar and Sappho, and by the great Tragedy, tragedians of Athens. Similarly, "dactylic hexameter", comprises six feet per line, of which the dominant kind of foot is the "dactyl (poetry), dactyl". Dactylic hexameter was the traditional meter of Greek
epic poetry An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary people who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal ...
, the earliest extant examples of which are the works of
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
and Hesiod. Iambic pentameter and dactylic hexameter were later used by a number of poets, including William Shakespeare and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, respectively. The most common metrical feet in English are: * Iamb (poetry), iamb – one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (e.g. des-cribe, in-clude, re-tract) * trocheeone stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable (e.g. pic-ture, flow-er) * dactyl (poetry), dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables (e.g. an-no-tate, sim-i-lar) * anapaesttwo unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable (e.g. com-pre-hend) * spondeetwo stressed syllables together (e.g. heart-beat, four-teen) * pyrrhictwo unstressed syllables together (rare, usually used to end dactylic hexameter) There are a wide range of names for other types of feet, right up to a choriamb, a four syllable metric foot with a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables and closing with a stressed syllable. The choriamb is derived from some ancient Greek literature, Greek and Latin poetry. Languages which utilize vowel length or Intonation (linguistics), intonation rather than or in addition to syllabic accents in determining meter, such as Metre (poetry)#Ottoman Turkish, Ottoman Turkish or Vedic meter, Vedic, often have concepts similar to the iamb and dactyl to describe common combinations of long and short sounds. Each of these types of feet has a certain "feel," whether alone or in combination with other feet. The iamb, for example, is the most natural form of rhythm in the English language, and generally produces a subtle but stable verse. Scanning meter can often show the basic or fundamental pattern underlying a verse, but does not show the varying degrees of stress (linguistics), stress, as well as the differing pitches and vowel length, lengths of syllables. There is debate over how useful a multiplicity of different "feet" is in describing meter. For example, Robert Pinsky has argued that while dactyls are important in classical verse, English dactylic verse uses dactyls very irregularly and can be better described based on patterns of iambs and anapests, feet which he considers natural to the language. Actual rhythm is significantly more complex than the basic scanned meter described above, and many scholars have sought to develop systems that would scan such complexity. Vladimir Nabokov noted that overlaid on top of the regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of verse was a separate pattern of accents resulting from the natural pitch of the spoken words, and suggested that the term "scud" be used to distinguish an unaccented stress from an accented stress.


Metrical patterns

Different traditions and genres of poetry tend to use different meters, ranging from the Shakespearean iambic pentameter and the Homeric dactylic hexameter to the anapestic tetrameter used in many nursery rhymes. However, a number of variations to the established meter are common, both to provide emphasis or attention to a given foot or line and to avoid boring repetition. For example, the stress in a foot may be inverted, a caesura (or pause) may be added (sometimes in place of a foot or stress), or the final foot in a line may be given a Meter (poetry), feminine ending to soften it or be replaced by a spondee to emphasize it and create a hard stop. Some patterns (such as iambic pentameter) tend to be fairly regular, while other patterns, such as dactylic hexameter, tend to be highly irregular. Regularity can vary between language. In addition, different patterns often develop distinctively in different languages, so that, for example, iambic tetrameter in Russian will generally reflect a regularity in the use of accents to reinforce the meter, which does not occur, or occurs to a much lesser extent, in English. Some common metrical patterns, with notable examples of poets and poems who use them, include: * Iambic pentameter (John Milton, ''Paradise Lost''; William Shakespeare, ''Shakespeare's Sonnets, Sonnets'') * Dactylic hexameter (Homer, ''
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'') * Iambic tetrameter (Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"; Alexander Pushkin, ''Eugene Onegin''; Robert Frost, ''Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'') * Trochaic octameter (Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven") * Trochaic tetrameter (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ''The Song of Hiawatha''; the Finnish national epic, ''Kalevala, The Kalevala'', is also in trochaic tetrameter, the natural rhythm of Finnish and Estonian) * (Jean Racine, ''Phèdre'')


Rhyme, alliteration, assonance

Rhyme, alliteration, assonance and Literary consonance, consonance are ways of creating repetitive patterns of sound. They may be used as an independent structural element in a poem, to reinforce rhythmic patterns, or as an ornamental element. They can also carry a meaning separate from the repetitive sound patterns created. For example, Chaucer used heavy alliteration to mock Old English verse and to paint a character as archaic. Rhyme consists of identical ("hard-rhyme") or similar ("soft-rhyme") sounds placed at the ends of lines or at predictable locations within lines ("internal rhyme"). Languages vary in the richness of their rhyming structures; Italian, for example, has a rich rhyming structure permitting maintenance of a limited set of rhymes throughout a lengthy poem. The richness results from word endings that follow regular forms. English, with its irregular word endings adopted from other languages, is less rich in rhyme. The degree of richness of a language's rhyming structures plays a substantial role in determining what poetic forms are commonly used in that language. Alliteration is the repetition of letters or letter-sounds at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals; or the recurrence of the same letter in accented parts of words. Alliteration and assonance played a key role in structuring early Germanic, Norse and Old English forms of poetry. The alliterative patterns of early Germanic poetry interweave meter and alliteration as a key part of their structure, so that the metrical pattern determines when the listener expects instances of alliteration to occur. This can be compared to an ornamental use of alliteration in most Modern European poetry, where alliterative patterns are not formal or carried through full stanzas. Alliteration is particularly useful in languages with less rich rhyming structures. Assonance, where the use of similar vowel sounds within a word rather than similar sounds at the beginning or end of a word, was widely used in skaldic poetry but goes back to the Homeric epic. Because verbs carry much of the pitch in the English language, assonance can loosely evoke the tonal elements of Chinese poetry and so is useful in translating Chinese poetry. Consonance occurs where a consonant sound is repeated throughout a sentence without putting the sound only at the front of a word. Consonance provokes a more subtle effect than alliteration and so is less useful as a structural element.


Rhyming schemes

In many languages, including modern European languages and Arabic, poets use rhyme in set patterns as a structural element for specific poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and couplet, rhyming couplets. However, the use of structural rhyme is not universal even within the European tradition. Much modern poetry avoids traditional rhyme schemes. Classical Greek and Latin poetry did not use rhyme. Rhyme entered European poetry in the High Middle Ages, in part under the influence of the Arabic language in Al Andalus (modern Spain). Arabic language poets used rhyme extensively from the first development of literary Arabic in the 6th century in poetry, sixth century, as in their long, rhyming qasidas. Some rhyming schemes have become associated with a specific language, culture or period, while other rhyming schemes have achieved use across languages, cultures or time periods. Some forms of poetry carry a consistent and well-defined rhyming scheme, such as the chant royal or the Ruba'i, rubaiyat, while other poetic forms have variable rhyme schemes. Most rhyme schemes are described using letters that correspond to sets of rhymes, so if the first, second and fourth lines of a quatrain rhyme with each other and the third line do not rhyme, the quatrain is said to have an "aa-ba" rhyme scheme. This rhyme scheme is the one used, for example, in the rubaiyat form. Similarly, an "a-bb-a" quatrain (what is known as "enclosed rhyme") is used in such forms as the Petrarchan sonnet. Some types of more complicated rhyming schemes have developed names of their own, separate from the "a-bc" convention, such as the ottava rima and terza rima. The types and use of differing rhyming schemes are discussed further in the rhyme scheme, main article.


Form in poetry

Poetic form is more flexible in modernist and post-modernist poetry and continues to be less structured than in previous literary eras. Many modern poets eschew recognizable structures or forms and write in free verse. Free verse is, however, not "formless" but composed of a series of more subtle, more flexible prosodic elements. Thus poetry remains, in all its styles, distinguished from prose by form; some regard for basic formal structures of poetry will be found in all varieties of free verse, however much such structures may appear to have been ignored. Similarly, in the best poetry written in classic styles there will be departures from strict form for emphasis or effect. Among major structural elements used in poetry are the line, the stanza or verse paragraph, and larger combinations of stanzas or lines such as cantos. Also sometimes used are broader visual presentations of words and calligraphy. These basic units of poetic form are often combined into larger structures, called ''poetic forms'' or poetic modes (see the following section), as in the sonnet.


Lines and stanzas

Poetry is often separated into lines on a page, in a process known as line break (poetry), lineation. These lines may be based on the number of metrical feet or may emphasize a rhyming pattern at the ends of lines. Lines may serve other functions, particularly where the poem is not written in a formal metrical pattern. Lines can separate, compare or contrast thoughts expressed in different units, or can highlight a change in tone. See the article on line break (poetry), line breaks for information about the division between lines. Lines of poems are often organized into stanzas, which are denominated by the number of lines included. Thus a collection of two lines is a couplet (or distich), three lines a tercet, triplet (or tercet), four lines a quatrain, and so on. These lines may or may not relate to each other by rhyme or rhythm. For example, a couplet may be two lines with identical meters which rhyme or two lines held together by a common meter alone. Other poems may be organized into verse paragraphs, in which regular rhymes with established rhythms are not used, but the poetic tone is instead established by a collection of rhythms, alliterations, and rhymes established in paragraph form. Many medieval poems were written in verse paragraphs, even where regular rhymes and rhythms were used. In many forms of poetry, stanzas are interlocking, so that the rhyming scheme or other structural elements of one stanza determine those of succeeding stanzas. Examples of such interlocking stanzas include, for example, the ghazal and the villanelle, where a refrain (or, in the case of the villanelle, refrains) is established in the first stanza which then repeats in subsequent stanzas. Related to the use of interlocking stanzas is their use to separate thematic parts of a poem. For example, the strophe, antistrophe and epode of the ode form are often separated into one or more stanzas. In some cases, particularly lengthier formal poetry such as some forms of epic poetry, stanzas themselves are constructed according to strict rules and then combined. In skaldic poetry, the dróttkvætt stanza had eight lines, each having three "lifts" produced with alliteration or assonance. In addition to two or three alliterations, the odd-numbered lines had partial rhyme of consonants with dissimilar vowels, not necessarily at the beginning of the word; the even lines contained internal rhyme in set syllables (not necessarily at the end of the word). Each half-line had exactly six syllables, and each line ended in a trochee. The arrangement of dróttkvætts followed far less rigid rules than the construction of the individual dróttkvætts.


Visual presentation

Even before the advent of printing, the visual appearance of poetry often added meaning or depth. Acrostic poems conveyed meanings in the initial letters of lines or in letters at other specific places in a poem. In Arabic poetry, Arabic, Jewish literature#Poetry, Hebrew and
Chinese poetry Chinese poetry is poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in S ...
, the visual presentation of finely calligraphy, calligraphed poems has played an important part in the overall effect of many poems. With the advent of printing, poets gained greater control over the mass-produced visual presentations of their work. Visual elements have become an important part of the poet's toolbox, and many poets have sought to use visual presentation for a wide range of purposes. Some Modernism, Modernist poets have made the placement of individual lines or groups of lines on the page an integral part of the poem's composition. At times, this complements the poem's
rhythm Rhythm (from , ''rhythmos'', "any regular motion, " generally means a " marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can ap ...
through visual caesuras of various lengths, or creates Contrast (linguistics), juxtapositions so as to accentuate meaning,
ambiguity Ambiguity is a type of meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * ...
or
irony Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...

irony
, or simply to create an aesthetically pleasing form. In its most extreme form, this can lead to concrete poetry or asemic writing.


Diction

Poetic diction treats the manner in which language is used, and refers not only to the sound but also to the underlying meaning and its interaction with sound and form. Many languages and poetic forms have very specific poetic dictions, to the point where distinct grammars and dialects are used specifically for poetry. Register tone, Registers in poetry can range from strict employment of ordinary speech patterns, as favoured in much late-20th-century Prosody (poetry), prosody, through to highly ornate uses of language, as in medieval and Renaissance poetry. Poetic diction can include rhetorical devices such as
simile A simile () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
and
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
, as well as tones of voice, such as
irony Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...

irony
.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
wrote in the ''Poetics (Aristotle), Poetics'' that "the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor." Since the rise of Modernism, some poets have opted for a poetic diction that de-emphasizes rhetorical devices, attempting instead the direct presentation of things and experiences and the exploration of Tone (linguistics), tone. On the other hand, surrealism, Surrealists have pushed rhetorical devices to their limits, making frequent use of catachresis. Allegory, Allegorical stories are central to the poetic diction of many cultures, and were prominent in the West during classical times, the Allegory in the Middle Ages, late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. ''Aesop's Fables'', repeatedly rendered in both verse and prose since first being recorded about 500 BCE, are perhaps the richest single source of allegorical poetry through the ages. Other notables examples include the ''Roman de la Rose'', a 13th-century French poem, William Langland's ''Piers Ploughman'' in the 14th century, and Jean de la Fontaine's ''Fables'' (influenced by Aesop's) in the 17th century. Rather than being fully allegorical, however, a poem may contain symbols or allusions that deepen the meaning or effect of its words without constructing a full allegory. Another element of poetic diction can be the use of vivid imagery (literature), imagery for effect. The juxtaposition of unexpected or impossible images is, for example, a particularly strong element in surrealist poetry and haiku. Vivid images are often endowed with symbolism or metaphor. Many poetic dictions use repetitive phrases for effect, either a short phrase (such as Homer's "rosy-fingered dawn" or "the wine-dark sea") or a longer refrain. Such repetition can add a somber tone to a poem, or can be laced with irony as the context of the words changes.


Forms

Specific poetic forms have been developed by many cultures. In more developed, closed or "received" poetic forms, the rhyming scheme, meter and other elements of a poem are based on sets of rules, ranging from the relatively loose rules that govern the construction of an elegy to the highly formalized structure of the ghazal or villanelle. Described below are some common forms of poetry widely used across a number of languages. Additional forms of poetry may be found in the discussions of the poetry of particular cultures or periods and in the Glossary of poetry terms, glossary.


Sonnet

Among the most common forms of poetry, popular from the Late Middle Ages on, is the sonnet, which by the 13th century had become standardized as fourteen lines following a set rhyme scheme and logical structure. By the 14th century and the Italian Renaissance, the form had further crystallized under the pen of Petrarch, whose sonnets were translated in the 16th century by Thomas Wyatt (poet), Sir Thomas Wyatt, who is credited with introducing the sonnet form into English literature. A traditional Italian or Petrarchan sonnet follows the rhyme scheme ''ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE'', though some variation, perhaps the most common being CDCDCD, especially within the final six lines (or ''sestet''), is common. The English sonnet, English (or Shakespearean) sonnet follows the rhyme scheme ''ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG'', introducing a third quatrain (grouping of four lines), a final couplet, and a greater amount of variety with regard to rhyme than is usually found in its Italian predecessors. By convention, sonnets in English typically use iambic pentameter, while in the Romance languages, the hendecasyllable and Alexandrine are the most widely used meters. Sonnets of all types often make use of a ''volta'', or "turn," a point in the poem at which an idea is turned on its head, a question is answered (or introduced), or the subject matter is further complicated. This ''volta'' can often take the form of a "but" statement contradicting or complicating the content of the earlier lines. In the Petrarchan sonnet, the turn tends to fall around the division between the first two quatrains and the sestet, while English sonnets usually place it at or near the beginning of the closing couplet. Sonnets are particularly associated with high poetic diction, vivid imagery, and romantic love, largely due to the influence of Petrarch as well as of early English practitioners such as Edmund Spenser (who gave his name to the Spenserian sonnet), Michael Drayton, and Shakespeare, whose Shakespeare's sonnets, sonnets are among the most famous in English poetry, with twenty being included in the ''Oxford Book of English Verse''. However, the twists and turns associated with the ''volta'' allow for a logical flexibility applicable to many subjects. Poets from the earliest centuries of the sonnet to the present have utilized the form to address topics related to politics (John Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Claude McKay), theology (John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins), war (Wilfred Owen, e.e. cummings), and gender and sexuality (Carol Ann Duffy). Further, postmodern authors such as Ted Berrigan and John Berryman have challenged the traditional definitions of the sonnet form, rendering entire sequences of "sonnets" that often lack rhyme, a clear logical progression, or even a consistent count of fourteen lines.


Shi

''Shi'' () Is the main type of Classical Chinese poetry. Within this form of poetry the most important variations are "folk song" styled verse (''yuefu''), "old style" verse (''gushi (poetry), gushi''), "modern style" verse (''jintishi''). In all cases, rhyming is obligatory. The Yuefu is a folk ballad or a poem written in the folk ballad style, and the number of lines and the length of the lines could be irregular. For the other variations of ''shi'' poetry, generally either a four line (quatrain, or ''jueju'') or else an eight-line poem is normal; either way with the even numbered lines rhyming. The line length is scanned by an according number of characters (according to the convention that one character equals one syllable), and are predominantly either five or seven characters long, with a caesura before the final three syllables. The lines are generally end-stopped, considered as a series of couplets, and exhibit verbal parallelism as a key poetic device. The "old style" verse (''Gushi'') is less formally strict than the ''jintishi'', or regulated verse, which, despite the name "new style" verse actually had its theoretical basis laid as far back as Shen Yue (441–513 CE), although not considered to have reached its full development until the time of Chen Zi'ang (661–702 CE). A good example of a poet known for his ''Gushi'' poems is Li Bai (701–762 CE). Among its other rules, the jintishi rules regulate the tonal variations within a poem, including the use of set patterns of the Four tones (Middle Chinese), four tones of Middle Chinese. The basic form of jintishi (sushi) has eight lines in four couplets, with parallelism between the lines in the second and third couplets. The couplets with parallel lines contain contrasting content but an identical grammatical relationship between words. Jintishi often have a rich poetic diction, full of allusion, and can have a wide range of subject, including history and politics. One of the masters of the form was Du Fu (712–770 CE), who wrote during the Tang Dynasty (8th century).


Villanelle

The villanelle is a nineteen-line poem made up of five triplets with a closing quatrain; the poem is characterized by having two refrains, initially used in the first and third lines of the first stanza, and then alternately used at the close of each subsequent stanza until the final quatrain, which is concluded by the two refrains. The remaining lines of the poem have an a-b alternating rhyme. The villanelle has been used regularly in the English language since the late 19th century by such poets as Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop.


Limerick

A limerick is a poem that consists of five lines and is often humorous. Rhythm is very important in limericks for the first, second and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables. However, the third and fourth lines only need five to seven. All of the lines must rhyme and have the same rhythm. Practitioners of the limerick included Edward Lear, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson.


Tanka

Tanka is a form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, with five sections totalling 31 ''On (Japanese prosody), on'' (phonological units identical to Mora (linguistics), morae), structured in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern. There is generally a shift in tone and subject matter between the upper 5-7-5 phrase and the lower 7-7 phrase. Tanka were written as early as the Asuka period by such poets as Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (''fl.'' late 7th century), at a time when Japan was emerging from a period where much of its poetry followed Chinese form. Tanka was originally the shorter form of Japanese formal poetry (which was generally referred to as "waka (poetry), waka"), and was used more heavily to explore personal rather than public themes. By the tenth century, tanka had become the dominant form of Japanese poetry, to the point where the originally general term ''waka'' ("Japanese poetry") came to be used exclusively for tanka. Tanka are still widely written today.


Haiku

Haiku is a popular form of unrhymed Japanese poetry, which evolved in the 17th century from the ''hokku'', or opening verse of a renku. Generally written in a single vertical line, the haiku contains three sections totalling 17 ''on'' (Mora (linguistics), morae), structured in a 5-7-5 pattern. Traditionally, haiku contain a kireji, or cutting word, usually placed at the end of one of the poem's three sections, and a kigo, or season-word. The most famous exponent of the haiku was
Matsuo Bashō born then was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, ...
(1644–1694). An example of his writing: : :fuji no kaze ya oogi ni nosete Edo miyage : the wind of Mt. Fuji : I've brought on my fan! : a gift from Edo


Khlong

The ''khlong'' (, ) is among the oldest Thai poetic forms. This is reflected in its requirements on the tone markings of certain syllables, which must be marked with ''mai ek'' (, , ) or ''mai tho'' (, , ). This was likely derived from when the Thai language had three tones (as opposed to today's five, a split which occurred during the Ayutthaya Kingdom period), two of which corresponded directly to the aforementioned marks. It is usually regarded as an advanced and sophisticated poetic form. Reproduced form In ''khlong'', a stanza (''bot'', , ) has a number of lines (''bat'', , , from Pali and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
''Pada (foot), pāda''), depending on the type. The ''bat'' are subdivided into two ''wak'' (, , from Sanskrit ''varga''). The first ''wak'' has five syllables, the second has a variable number, also depending on the type, and may be optional. The type of ''khlong'' is named by the number of ''bat'' in a stanza; it may also be divided into two main types: ''khlong suphap'' (, ) and ''khlong dan'' (, ). The two differ in the number of syllables in the second ''wak'' of the final ''bat'' and inter-stanza rhyming rules.


Khlong si suphap

The ''khlong si suphap'' (, ) is the most common form still currently employed. It has four ''bat'' per stanza (''si'' translates as ''four''). The first ''wak'' of each ''bat'' has five syllables. The second ''wak'' has two or four syllables in the first and third ''bat'', two syllables in the second, and four syllables in the fourth. ''Mai ek'' is required for seven syllables and ''Mai tho'' is required for four, as shown below. "Dead word (Thai language), Dead word" syllables are allowed in place of syllables which require ''mai ek'', and changing the spelling of words to satisfy the criteria is usually acceptable.


Ode

Odes were first developed by poets writing in ancient Greek, such as Pindar, and Latin, such as Horace. Forms of odes appear in many of the cultures that were influenced by the Greeks and Latins. The ode generally has three parts: a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode. The strophe and the antistrophe of the ode possess similar metrical structures and, depending on the tradition, similar rhyme structures. In contrast, the epode is written with a different scheme and structure. Odes have a formal poetic diction and generally deal with a serious subject. The strophe and antistrophe look at the subject from different, often conflicting, perspectives, with the epode moving to a higher level to either view or resolve the underlying issues. Odes are often intended to be recited or sung by two choruses (or individuals), with the first reciting the strophe, the second the antistrophe, and both together the epode. Over time, differing forms for odes have developed with considerable variations in form and structure, but generally showing the original influence of the Pindaric or Horatian ode. One non-Western form which resembles the ode is the qasida in Persian poetry.


Ghazal

The (also , , , or ) is a form of poetry common in Arabic poetry, Arabic, Bengali poetry, Bengali, Persian literature, Persian and Urdu poetry, Urdu. In classic form, the has from five to fifteen rhyming couplets that share a refrain at the end of the second line. This refrain may be of one or several syllables and is preceded by a rhyme. Each line has an identical meter. The often reflects on a theme of unattainable love or divinity. As with other forms with a long history in many languages, many variations have been developed, including forms with a quasi-musical poetic diction in Urdu. Ghazals have a classical affinity with Sufism, and a number of major Sufi religious works are written in ghazal form. The relatively steady meter and the use of the refrain produce an incantatory effect, which complements Sufi mystical themes well. Among the masters of the form is
Rumi Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), (also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mowlānā (, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (, "my master")) more popularly known simply as Rumi ( ...

Rumi
, a 13th-century Persian poet. One of the most famous poet in this type of poetry is Hafez, whose poems often include the theme of exposing hypocrisy. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author. The West-östlicher Diwan of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a collection of lyrical poems, is inspired by the Persian poet Hafez.


Genres

In addition to specific forms of poems, poetry is often thought of in terms of different
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...

genre
s and subgenres. A poetic genre is generally a tradition or classification of poetry based on the subject matter, style, or other broader literary characteristics. Some commentators view genres as natural forms of literature. Others view the study of genres as the study of how different works relate and refer to other works.


Narrative poetry

Narrative poetry is a genre of poetry that tells a narrative, story. Broadly it subsumes
epic poetry An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary people who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal ...
, but the term "narrative poetry" is often reserved for smaller works, generally with more appeal to human interest. Narrative poetry may be the oldest type of poetry. Many scholars of
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
have concluded that his ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
'' were composed of compilations of shorter narrative poems that related individual episodes. Much narrative poetry—such as Scottish and English ballads, and Balts, Baltic and Slavic peoples, Slavic heroic poems—is performance poetry with roots in a preliterate oral tradition. It has been speculated that some features that distinguish poetry from prose, such as meter,
alliteration In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definiti ...
and kennings, once served as memory aids for bards who recited traditional tales. Notable narrative poets have included Ovid, Dante, Juan Ruiz, William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, Chaucer, Fernando de Rojas, Luís de Camões, Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Robert Burns, Adam Mickiewicz, Alexander Pushkin, Edgar Allan Poe, Alfred Tennyson, and Anne Carson.


Lyric poetry

Lyric poetry is a genre that, unlike epic poetry, epic and dramatic poetry, does not attempt to tell a story but instead is of a more personal nature. Poems in this genre tend to be shorter, melodic, and contemplative. Rather than depicting Character (arts), characters and actions, it portrays the poet's own feelings, Qualia, states of mind, and perceptions. Notable poets in this genre include Christine de Pizan, John Donne, Charles Baudelaire, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Antonio Machado, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.


Epic poetry

Epic poetry is a genre of poetry, and a major form of narrative literature. This genre is often defined as lengthy poems concerning events of a heroic or important nature to the culture of the time. It recounts, in a continuous narrative, the life and works of a Hero, heroic or mythological person or group of persons. Examples of epic poems are
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'' and ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
'',
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
's
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
, the ''Nibelungenlied'', Luís de Camões' ''Os Lusíadas'', the ''Cantar de Mio Cid'', the ''
Epic of Gilgamesh The ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' () is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with ...
'', the ''
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
'', Lönnrot's ''Kalevala'', Valmiki's ''
Ramayana ''Rāmāyana'' (; sa, रामायणम्, ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism, the other being the ''Mahabharata, Mahābhārata''. The epi ...

Ramayana
'', Ferdowsi's ''Shahnama'', Nizami Ganjavi, Nizami (or Nezami)'s Khamse (Five Books), and the ''Epic of King Gesar''. While the composition of epic poetry, and of long poems generally, became less common in the west after the early 20th century, some notable epics have continued to be written. The Cantos by Ezra Pound, Helen in Egypt by H.D., and Paterson (poem) by William Carlos Williams are examples of modern epics. Derek Walcott won a Nobel prize in 1992 to a great extent on the basis of his epic, ''Omeros''.


Satirical poetry

Poetry can be a powerful vehicle for satire. The Ancient Rome, Romans had a strong tradition of satirical poetry, often written for political purposes. A notable example is the Roman poet Juvenal's Satires of Juvenal, satires. The same is true of the English satirical tradition. John Dryden (a Tory), the first Poet Laureate, produced in 1682 ''Mac Flecknoe'', subtitled "A Satire on the True Blue Protestant Poet, T.S." (a reference to Thomas Shadwell). Another master of 17th-century English satirical poetry was John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. Satirical poets outside England include Poland's Ignacy Krasicki, Azerbaijan's Mirza Alakbar Sabir, Sabir, Portugal's Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, and Korea's Kim Kirim, especially noted for his ''Gisangdo''.


Elegy

An elegy is a mournful, melancholy or plaintive poem, especially a lament for the dead or a funeral song. The term "elegy," which originally denoted a type of poetic meter (elegiac meter), commonly describes a poem of mourning. An elegy may also reflect something that seems to the author to be strange or mysterious. The elegy, as a reflection on a death, on a sorrow more generally, or on something mysterious, may be classified as a form of lyric poetry. Notable practitioners of elegiac poetry have included Propertius, Jorge Manrique, Jan Kochanowski, Chidiock Tichborne, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Thomas Gray, Charlotte Smith (writer), Charlotte Smith, William Cullen Bryant, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Evgeny Baratynsky, Alfred Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, William Butler Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Virginia Woolf.


Verse fable

The fable is an ancient literary genre, often (though not invariably) set in Verse (poetry), verse. It is a succinct story that features Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphised animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that illustrate a moral lesson (a "moral"). Verse fables have used a variety of
meter The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...
and
rhyme A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds (usually, exactly the same sound) in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words. Most often, this kind of perfect rhyming is consciously used for a musical or aesthetic e ...
patterns. Notable verse fabulists have included Aesop, Vishnu Sarma, Phaedrus (fabulist), Phaedrus, Marie de France, Robert Henryson, Biernat of Lublin, Jean de La Fontaine, Ignacy Krasicki, Félix María de Samaniego, Tomás de Iriarte, Ivan Krylov and Ambrose Bierce.


Dramatic poetry

Dramatic poetry is
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...

drama
written in Verse (poetry), verse to be spoken or sung, and appears in varying, sometimes related forms in many cultures. Greek tragedy in verse dates to the 6th century B.C., and may have been an influence on the development of Sanskrit drama, just as Indian drama in turn appears to have influenced the development of the ''bianwen'' verse dramas in China, forerunners of Chinese Opera. East Asian verse dramas also include Japanese Noh. Examples of dramatic poetry in Persian literature include Nizami Ganjavi, Nizami's two famous dramatic works, ''Layla and Majnun'' and ''Khosrow and Shirin'', Ferdowsi's tragedies such as ''Sohrab, Rostam and Sohrab'',
Rumi Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), (also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mowlānā (, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (, "my master")) more popularly known simply as Rumi ( ...

Rumi
's ''Masnavi'', Asad Gorgani, Gorgani's tragedy of ''Vis and Ramin'', and Vahshi Bafqi, Vahshi's tragedy of ''Farhad''. American poets of 20th century revive dramatic poetry, including Ezra Pound in “''Sestina: Altaforte,''” T. S. Eliot, T.S. Eliot with “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,”.


Speculative poetry

Speculative poetry, also known as fantastic poetry (of which weird or macabre poetry is a major sub-classification), is a poetic genre which deals thematically with subjects which are "beyond reality", whether via extrapolation as in science fiction or via weird and horrific themes as in horror fiction. Such poetry appears regularly in modern science fiction and horror fiction magazines. Edgar Allan Poe is sometimes seen as the "father of speculative poetry". Poe's most remarkable achievement in the genre was his anticipation, by three-quarters of a century, of the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin, in his then much-derided 1848 essay (which, due to its very speculative nature, he termed a "prose poem"), ''Eureka: A Prose Poem''.


Prose poetry

Prose poetry is a hybrid genre that shows attributes of both prose and poetry. It may be indistinguishable from the microfiction, micro-story (List of acronyms and initialisms: A#AK, a.k.a. the "short short story", "flash fiction"). While some examples of earlier prose strike modern readers as poetic, prose poetry is commonly regarded as having originated in 19th-century France, where its practitioners included Aloysius Bertrand, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé. Since the late 1980s especially, prose poetry has gained increasing popularity, with entire journals, such as ''The Prose Poem: An International Journal'', ''Contemporary Haibun Online'', and ''Haibun Today'' devoted to that genre and its hybrids. Latin American poetry, Latin American poets of the 20th century who wrote prose poems include Octavio Paz and Alejandra Pizarnik.


Light poetry

Light poetry, or light verse, is poetry that attempts to be humorous. Poems considered "light" are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play, including puns, adventurous rhyme and heavy
alliteration In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definiti ...
. Although a few free verse poets have excelled at light verse outside the formal verse tradition, light verse in English usually obeys at least some formal conventions. Common forms include the limerick (poetry), limerick, the clerihew, and the double dactyl. While light poetry is sometimes condemned as doggerel, or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor often makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way. Many of the most renowned "serious" poets have also excelled at light verse. Notable writers of light poetry include Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, X. J. Kennedy, Willard R. Espy, Shel Silverstein, and Wendy Cope.


Slam poetry

Slam poetry as a genre originated in 1986 in Chicago, Illinois, when Marc Kelly Smith organized the first slam. Slam performers comment emotively, aloud before an audience, on personal, social, or other matters. Slam focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation, and voice inflection. Slam poetry is often competitive, at dedicated "poetry slam" contests.


Poetry and religion

There may be differing views on religious poetry. As Nissim Ezekiel observes:


See also

* Digital poetry * Glossary of poetry terms * Improvisation * List of poetry groups and movements * Oral poetry * Outline of poetry * Persona poetry * Poet laureate * Poetry reading * Rhapsode * Spoken word


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

; Books * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * *
Poetry, Music and Narrative - The Science of Art


Anthologies

* * * * * {{Authority control Poetry, Literature Aesthetics Genres of poetry, Poetic form, Spoken word