Survey Of Poetry


{Introduction to the Poetry}


1-                        Time lines:

[c.a = circa, which means “around or about.”

·        Classical Ages : GREEK AND ROMANS

(c.a. 400 BCE, c.a. 400 CE) [The style of poem was the Epic]


·        Early Middle Ages : Dark Ages : EUROPE

(c.a. 350 CE, c.a. 1050 CE) [Caedmon’s Hymn, and Beowulf]


·        Late Middle Ages: Dark Ages : EUROPE

(c.a 1050 CE, 1450 CE) [Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]


·        Renaissance : ITALY

(c.a. 15th to 16th CE) [William Shakespeare’s Sonnets]


·        Neoclassical: GERMANY, FRANCE AND ENGLAND

(c.a. 17th to 18th CE) [John Milton Paradise lost]


·        Romantic :

(c.a. 18th to 19th CE) [John Keats Poems]


·        Victorian : BRITISH EMPIRE

(c.a. 19th and 20th CE) [Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poems]


·        Modern :

(20th and after) [T.S. Eliot, the wasteland]




2-                        What is poetry?


·       Sir Phillip Sidney [16th] REASONS AND IDEAS

 “An art of imitation to teach and delight”


·        Alexander Pope [18th] NATURE

                     “Nature to advantage dressed”


·        William Wordsworth [19th] FEELINGS

            “A poem was a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions”


·        Archbold Macleish [20th] MODERNISM

a poem should not mean, but be”

 3-                        Poetic Kinds



It tells a story with a hero and a sequence of events. They are subjective, short and have intense feelings

1-   Epic/Heroic

·        Really long

·        Help explain the origin of the hero.

·        Believes and values are injected in it.

E.g. The Odyssey, Iliad

1-   Elegy

·        Mourning a dead person


2-   Saga

·        Record adventures in a foreign land

·        Style is larger than life

·        Exaggerate a lot

·        Idealistic

·        Use colorful metaphors to describe simple things

 E.g. John Milton, Paradise Lost

2-   Ode

·        They praise nature

·        Longer than lyric poems


3-   Mock Epic

·        Like Epic but with a silly subject

E.g. Alexander Pope, the Rape of the Lock


3-   Aubade

·        About morning


4-   Ballad

·        Oral [sung not written]

·        2 or 4 line verses

·        It has a Refrain [chorus, or repeated verse.]

·        Flat characters

E.g. Robin Hood


4-   Sonnets

·        It has 14 lines

·        There is the Italian and English ones.

·        The English one is about an argument that works in the couplet

·        The Italian is about generalization.


5-   Romance

·        Like ballads but speaks of monsters and fantastical places.

E.g. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.