04 December, 2009

Back on Track

Hey Everybody,

Its been a while since I've really gone into the history of Literature. As I said previously, I did not want to move on before clarifying what the different genres developed by the Greeks were. So I've finally put together a list with what almost everyone of the forms are. They are not detailed definitions but I hope that you do get the general ideas. I will be sure to get examples of each type of poetry and share with you in subsequent posts.

Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry originally got its name from the fact that is was sung by individuals or chorus accompanied by an instrument called a lyre. It is a form of poetry that does not attempt to tell a story but is of a more personal nature. Rather than portraying characters and actions, the lyric poet addresses the reader directly, portraying is or her own feelings, states of mind and perceptions. Most lyric poetry is made in a "singable" and "rhymable" way. However, the rhyme does not define lyric poetry.

Examples of lyric poetry developed in the Ancient Greek Era include Odes and Elegies. Other forms of lyric poetry include sonnets, songs, villanelles and hymns.

Drama (Dramatic Poetry)
Dramatic Poetry is any poetry that uses the discourse of the characters involved to tell a story or portray a situation. What is noteworthy about Ancient Greek Drama is that is was intended as an act of worship and honour to the god Dionysus. This drama involved simple choral songs and dialogues performed at festivals in honour Dionysus. Costuming and training the chorus was considered a religion act of duty.

Both tragic and comical drama was developed at that time, both of them being religious "rituals". The comedy, however, differed from the tragedy in that it was full of frank obscenity, abuse, and insult.

An ode is simple a poem of celebration. Odes are usually longish, serious and dignified.

A pastoral is a poem that depicts rural country life in a peaceful, idealized way.

An Elegy is usually a formal lament for someone's death.

An Epigram is a very short, satirical and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain.

A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject. Two treatises which was developed in the Ancient Greek Period are Rhetorical Treatises and Philosophical Treatises. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


  1. Great list! thanks for showing! Ive always wondered how many types there were. You always seem to dig up something that keeps me interested. Waiting for your next poem. Cheers!!

  2. very informative article...thanx for sharing

  3. Thanks! I enjoy sharing whatever I find with you all! Thanks for your support guys!