Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some Poetical Genres

Here are some poetical genres_
            Poem in which letters of successive lines form a word or pattern; in cross acrostic, pattern is formed by first letter of first line, second letter of second line, third letter of third line etc Cf.George Herbert's THE ALTAR; Dylan Thomas's VISION AND PRAYER; Irshad-ul-Hasan's ACROSTIC.

            A narrative song pertaining to folklore with stylized description; intended to be sung; background of myth, ghosts, fairies; stories derived from folklore, romances, chronicles; ironic acceptance of tragedy.
            Drawing room poetry, difficult verse form; 3 stanzas (of 8 or 10 lines, each rhyming ababbabc) followed by an envoi (4 or 5 lines bcbc); the same line concludes each stanza and the envoi. Cf.Chaucer's LACK OF STEADFASTNESS; Chesterton's A BALLADE OF SUICIDE; Michael Scot's BALLADE OF THE CATS OF BYGONE TIME.
 CANZONE is a long  song with irregular stanza/rhyme-scheme:
            The rainbow comes and goes                                                      a
            And lovely is the rose;                                                                  a
            The moon doth with delight                                                          b
            Look round her when the heavens are bare;                                  c
            Waters on a starry night                                                                b
            Are beautiful and fair;                                                                  c
            The sunshine is a glorious birth;                                                     d
            But yet I know, whereever I go,                                                   e
            That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.                      d
            Five 11-line stanzas with 8-line envoi;
            Crude humorous verse. Samuel Butler's HUDIBRAS is doggerel epic.
Dramatic Monologue.
            Flourished during Middle Ages; Langland's PIERS PLOWMAN; Chauser's THE HOUSE OF FAME; THE PARLIAMENT OF FOWLS; THE BOOK OF THE DUCHESS.
            Lament proceeding from expression of grief through philosophical implications to affirmation of belief leading to consolation. Originally, it was a flute song without any lament, a poem in distichs;the pentameter consisted of two hemiepes (-vv-vv-) joined by diacresis or  word-end; the elegiac metre was a variation on the heroic hexameter and consisted of an unrhymed couplet, the first line being a dactylic hexameter and the second a dactylic pentameter; it was sung to flute unlike lyrics sung to lyre.
            Barly Greel elegies were flute songs dealing with wars, political feuds, manners and morals, laws and principles, love and conviviality, festive pleasure as well as lamentation for the dead; Callinus the first elegist and Tyrtaeus of Sparta deal with military exhortation; Solon deals with patriotic themes; Mimnermus, Archilochus and Theognis wrote amatory elegies. The elegiac measure has been used by Watson in HYMN TO THE SEA. In late 6th c.,elegiac metre was used for mythological love stories while in the Alexandrian period, narrative elegy became a favourute genre; Callimachus wrote etiological elegies; later on elegiac metre was used by Petronius for epigrams.
            The word ELEGY is derived from ELEGEION/ELEGOS meaning lament; elegy is brief lyric of mourning/bereavement, pervaded by melancholy tone. Euripides’s ANDROMACHE is the earliest dirge; Theocritus introduced pastoral elegy; Moschus lamentsd Bion’s death; Spenser laments Philip Sidney’s death in the Battle of Zutphen in 1586 in pastoral elegy ASTROPHEL.
            Latin elegy reached its zenith in the love poems of Tibullus and Propertius; Gallus contributed to the development of erotic elegy ;Ovid used elegiac metre for mock didactic poems and fictitious epistles from mythological heroines to absent lovers. It was Horace who associated elegiac metre with dirges.
            Milton’s LYCIDAS, Shelley’s ADONAIS, Arnold’s THYRSIS, Tennyson’s IN MEMORIAM, ,Gray’s ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD, Johnson’s VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES, Walt Whitman’s WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOMED. There is elegiac strain in MOTHER HUBERD’S TALE, THE FATE OF THE BUTTERFLY (mock-heroicfable),THE RUINS OF TIME (lamentation over ruins of Verulam) , TEARS OF THE MUSES (denunciation of a degenerate era).
            Critical elegy is exemplified by William Watson’s WORDSWORTH’S GRAVE and Matthew Arnold’s HEINE’S GRAVE, TWO OBERMANN POEMS and MEMORIAL VERSES.
Speculative elegy is exemplified by Shelley’s ADNAIS and Browning’s LA SAISIAZ. Encomiastic elegy is exemplified by LYCIDAS, and THYRSIS, Arnold’s RUGBY CHAPEL, Ben Jonson’s TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED SHAKESPEARE and Whittier’s IN REMEMBRANCE OF JOSEPH STURGE.
 Communal elegy is exemplified by BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS lamenting the fall of a city in five poems; reflective elegy is represented by ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD in thirty-two stanzas.
            David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan is Hebrew elegy ; Robert Bridges’s ELEGY ON A LADY WHOM GRIEF FOR THE DEATH OF HER BELOVED KILLED is in prosaic form; Wordsworth’s LUCY is too brief while Tennyson’s elegy on Hallam is too long . William Bryant’s THANATOPSIS is a generalized elegy.

EPIC  Poem on a grand scale about heroic exploits; historical/legendary epic is exemplified by Homer’s THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY in 24 books each; 12thc.anonymous French epic CHANSON DE ROLAND; Tasso’s epic of crusades GIERUSALEMME LIBERATA; Spanish epic EL CID about resistance against  Moors; Camoen’s national epic of Portugal entitled THE LUSIADS; anonymous Anglo-Saxon epic BEOWULF; Longfellow’s HIAWATHA dealing with original inhabitants of America; Thomas Malory’s prose epic MORTE D’ ARTHUR.
            Literary epic is exemplified by Virgil’s AENEID in 12 books; Ariosto’s ORLANDO FURIOSO; Spenser’s FAERIE QUEENE about allegorized ideal of Elizabethan gentlemen.
            Religious epic is exemplified by THE DIVINE COMEDY; PARADISE REGAINED.
Semi-epic: Chaucer’s TROILUS AND CRISEYDE
            Mock-epic:RAPE OF THE LOCK
Beast epic: Chaucer’s NUN’S PRIEST ‘ S TALE, Spenser’s
Doggerel epic: HUDIBRAS.
            Short witty crisply written, often satirical,poem from 2 to 6 lines; used by Martial in first century, Jonson and Herrick Modern epigrams are short witty statements.
EPISTLE  i) Verse letter; used by Pope, Dr.Johnson, Burns, Byron
                   ii) Prefatory dedication current during 17th and 18th cc.
             Medieval short verse tale, comic and ribald; THE MILLER’S TALE.
            Pastoral lyric; Marlowe’s THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE; Wordsworth’s THE SOLITARY REAPER; Tennyson’s IDYLLS OF THE KING.
            Satirical character sketch current in 17th and 18th cc.
            Short humorous poem of 5 lines; with second and fifth lines having three anapaestic beats while third and fourth have two; rhyme-scheme aabba; popularized in 1846 by Edward Lear’s BOOK OF NONSENSE.
            Originally in Greece, a poem sung to the accompainiment of a lyre; short poem expressing emotion without fixed form, expressing a single thought, mood or feeling, exploring individual sensibility; developed from 15thc carol which was secular/half-folkloric as well as religious/half-clerical.
            Anglo-Saxon period is without lyrics. Secular lyrics of Middle English are in the form of casually preserved scraps. Lyric developed from seasonal celebrations, communal work songs and recreational folk songs; its movement from folk art to professional craftsmanship resulted in sophistication of technique; there is shift from woman’s view in folk love poetry to man’s view in later love lyrics.
            13thc. established lyrical tradition. SONG OF LEWES is a political lyric accusing Earl accusing Earl of Cornwall of misleading the prince; Lurence Minot’s 14thc. lyrics celebrate English victories over Scots and Frenchmen; medieval-lyrics were influenced by Latin hymns and ranged from the moral to the devotional/mystical; Corpus Christi poem found in a 16thc. MS is essentially a folk song with central symbolism deriving from Grail legend but possessing overtones of meaning.
            Lyric includes elegy, hymn, ode, sonnet. It is a short personal poem dealing with feelings and thoughts of an individual speaker, not necessarily the poet himself. Typical subject-matter of a lyric is love of mistress. Most people’s idea of poetry is lyrical although it can be didactic, narrative, satiric.

                        Song for several voices; around close of 17thc. ; used by Thomas Morley, Thomas Weelkes, John Wilbye.

            Story of adventure in verse; Chaucer’s KNIGHT’S TALE; Scott’s THE LADY OF THE LAKE; Byron’s THE CORSAIR * AND THE GIOUR


                        Unvarnished tale; Wordsworth’s MICHAEL and THE IDIOT BOY; Coleridge’s RIME OF ANCIENT MARINER; Cowper’s JOHN GILPIN; Houseman’s HELL GATE.

                        In commemoration of an event; Milton’s ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT; Marvel’s CROMWELL’S RETURN FROM IRELAND; Hopkins’s THE WRECK OF THE DEUTSCHLAND; Yeats’s EASTER 1916

Ode  has intricate stanza form, dignified style and serious purpose.
            Originally choral lyric in Greek tragedy; fairly long and stately poem written on some public occasion or expressing aspiration or addressed to a person, thing, personification; almost any poem of substantial length and elevated tone from 50 to 200 lines; 4 types_
1)      Pindaric /choric ode is tripartite-strophe, antistrophe, epode; too
                  complex for general use; strophe is sung by chorus moving
                   in one direction, antistrophe is sung by chorus moving
                  in other direction and epode is sung by chorus standing
                  still; Cowley’s Pindaric Ode about William Hervey; Ben Jonson’s ODE TO CAREY AND MORRISON; Thomas Gray’s PROGRESS OF POESY

ii) Horatian/ stanzaic ode consists of regular stanzas/series of strophes;Marvell's CROMWELL'S RETURN FROM IRELAND;Keats's  ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
iii) Cowleyan ode/romantic ode ; stanzas are irregular in line-length and rhyme-scheme; Dryden's SONG FOR ST.CECILIA'S DAY; Coleridge's DEJECTION;Wordsworth's INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.
iv) Funeral ode; Tennyson's ODE ON THE DEATH OF DUKE OF WELLINGTON; LYCIDAS; Gray’s elegy.
      Mention may also be made of the following odes:
Spenser's EPITHALAMION; Marcel's HORATIAN ODE; Gray's THE BARD; On the Death of a Favourite Cat; Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.
Coleridge's DEJECTION; Wordsworth's ODE TO DUTY; Mrs.Hunter's ODE TO AN EXPIRING FROG in Dicken's PICKWICK PAPERS;Milton's NATIVITY ODE; Thomas Hood's ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF CLAPHAM ACADEMY; Shellet's HYMN TO INTELLECTUAL BEAUTY; Cecil Day Lewis's ODE TO FEAR. Keats's odes have 10-line stanzas of iambic pentameter i.e. 10 weak-strong beats.
Palinode is a poem recanting statement in a previous poem; Chaucer's The Legend of Good Women atones for earlier story of Cressida's infidelity.
Pasquinade  is lampoon posted in a public place
      Unflattering imitation/ exaggeration based on change of context; Byron's DON JUAN is self-parody while THE VISION OF JUDGEMENT is Southey's parody; Cecil day Lewis paradoies Marlowe in COME LIVE WITH ME; Shelley parodies   Wordsworth's PETER BELL; Buckingham parodies Dryden in THE REHEARSAL; Andrew Lang parodies Rosetti in OH, NO, WE NEVER MENTION HER NAME; Auden parodies Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse in AGE OF ANXIETY and T.S. Eliot in FOR THE TIME BEING; Eliot parodies modern love, PROTHALAMION and WHEN LOVELY WOMAN STOOPS TO FOLLY in THE WASTE LAND; his lines-
                  Still is the unspoken word, the word unheard,
                  The word without a word, the word  within
      The world and for the world (ASH WEDNESDAY)
have been parodied as -
      The wind within a wind unable to speak for wind.
Eliot's CHARD WHITLOW is a self parody -
                  As we get older we do not get any younger.
                  Seasons return, and today I am 55,
                  And this time last year I was 54,
                  And this time next year I shall be 62:
                  And I cannot say I should like (to speak for myself)
                  To see my time over again- if you can call it time;
                  Fidgeting uneasily under the draughty stair,
                  Or counting sleepless nights in the crowded tube.
                  Cf.Coleridge's THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT ; Swinburne's NEPHELIDIA; Irshad-ul-Hasan's CRITICISM IN CRISIS.
      Poem of 14 lines not in sonnet form
      13-line poem in three sections; 2nd and 3rd sections end with unrhymed refrain/1st half of opening line; rhyme-scheme aabba aab R aabbaR.
ROUNDEAU REDOUBLE consists of 6 quatrains on two rhymes, each line of 1st  quatrain recurring as final line of 4 succeeding quatrains and last quatrain followed by refrain/1st half of opening line.
ROUNDEL 3 stanzas of 3 lines each on 2 rhymes; 1st and 3rd stanzas are followed by refrain/1st part of 1st line; rhyme-scheme abaR bab abaR; Swinburne describes it as follows_
      A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
      With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
      That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
      A roundel is wrought.
      Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught-
      Love, laughter, or mourning-remembrance of rapture or fear-
      That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.
      As a bird’s quick song runs round , and the hearts in us hear
      Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
       So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
      A roundel is wrought.
ROUNDELAY Short song with a refrain.
Sonnet is specialized lyric with 14 pentameters; 3 rhymed quatrains followed by a rhymed couplet-
      abab cdcd efef gg
This is Shakespearean.
Or octet followed by sestet-
      abba abba  cde/ecd  cde/ecd
This is Petrarchan. It was used by Milton. In 16th century the favourite theme was love; in 17th century, it was politics; in 19th century, it had different subjects and themes.
The sonnet has tightness of argument and depth of emotional range; the conclusion either arises out of the rest of the poem or is artificial like a tag.
CROWN OF SONNETS Poem of 7 interlinked sonnets; final line of each stanza forming first line of next; first line of opening sonnet forming last line of final sonnet; Donne’s LA CORONA.
CURTAL SONNET Invented by G.M.Hopkins; sonnet of ten lines and a half; 6-line stanza followed by 4-line stanza and a half-line tail-piece
TRIOLET Used by English Parnassians in late 19thc. ; 8-line playful poem of 2 rhymes; 1st rhyme occurs 3 times in lines 1,4,7; 2nd rhyme occurs twice in lines 2,8; rhyme-scheme abaaabab; Robert Bridges’s ALL WOMEN BORN
VERSE ESSAY Thoughtful poem which is neither a story nor vehicle of personal emotion; Pope’s THE DUNCIAD; Dryden’s ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL; Byron’s ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS, HINTS FROM HORACE and THE AGE OF BRONZE; Herbert’s THE CHURCH PORCH; Louis MacNeice’s AUTUMN JOURNAL; Roy Campbell’s THE GEORGIAD
VILLANELLE  Used by Andrew Lang and W.E.Henley; 5 tercets followed by a quatrain having 2 rhymes of 1st and 3rd lines;1 rhyme occurs in middle of each tercet and 2nd line of quatrain; opening line is repeated at the end of 2nd and 4th tercets while the 3rd  line (last line of first tercet)  is repeated at the end of 3rd and 5th tercets; quatrain ends with 1st and 3rd lines; rhyme-scheme
a 1 b  a2a b  a1 aba2………aba1 a2__
                  A dainty thing’s the villanelle
                  Sly, musical, a jewel in rhyme,
                  It serves its purpose passing well.

                  A double-clappered silver bell,
                  That must be made to clink in chime,
                  A dainty thing’s the villanelle;
                  And if you wish to flute a spell,
                  Or ask a meeting ‘neath the lime,
                  It serves its purpose passing well.

                  You must not ask of it the swell
                  Of organs grandiose and sublime-
                  A dainty thing’s the villanelle;

                  And, filled with sweetness, as a shell
                  Is filled with sound, and launched in time,
                  It serves its purpose passing well.

                  Still fair to see and good to smell
                  As in the quaintness of its prime,
                  A dainty thing’s the villanelle,
                  It serves its purpose passing well.

Cf.Austin Dobson’s WHEN I SAW YOU LAST.

VIRELAY Short lyric with 2 rhymes in each stanza, end-rhyme of one stanza being chief rhyme of the next; short lines of one stanza provide rhyme for long lines of the next.

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