Pastoral Verse explained!

Pastoral verse was developed in England in the Elizabethan period. It originates from the Latin word ‘Pastor’ meaning shepherd.  Pastoral verse relates to the lives of Shepherds/ Shepherdesses, Herders, the countryside and country life. It describes the country with implicit and explicit contrast to the urban. They are often simple, serene and idyllic (rather than the realistic). It places the complex life into a simple one. They can exist in different forms such as pastoral verse, play, novel or drama. It is important because it springs from and expresses attitude to change. A sub-genre is the pastoral elegy, which laments a death or a loss.

I hope this helps to explain pastoral verse. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I will answer them for you!


Odes explained!

An ode is a form of lyric, meaning that it is an expression of thought or feeling. It is often quite complex and addresses something or someone. It praises, celebrates or commemorates its addressee. An ode is generally serious and ceremonious. It is usually elevated in style and because of this it is open to burlesque and poets often parody it quite a lot. There are ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ odes, this is distinguished by how serious the subject matter is and how elevated the style is. Among ‘lesser odes’ are Anacreontic (which deals with love and drinking) and Sapphic (has a very specific structure).

The Horatian ode

This ode has a regular structure and is named after the Roman poet, Horace. It is homostrophic (it is always in stanzas of the same shape). Its stanzas can be in any metre or of any length. Within the stanzas line length and metre may vary.

The Pindaric ode

This ode is to be sung and danced by performers. It is a tripartite (it has three sections – the strophe, antistrophe (both have the same stanza structure) and the epode). The structure of every section is irregular and their metre and line length may vary.

The Irregular ode

This is confusingly also called the Pindaric ode! It has any number of stanzas. No two stanzas need to have the same shape, metre, line length and rhyme (which can vary from line to line). This ode remains the dominant kind of ode.

I hope this short summary has helped to explain odes! If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I will answer them for you!

Satirical Poetry Explained!

–          Satires can be in any literary form, for example, prose narrative, drama or a mixture of different forms.

–          It ridicules and mocks individuals, institutions and whole societies. It may attack, vice or folly.

–          The four questions to ask of satirical writing are – who or what is the target? What role does the satirist play? What is the satirist’s tone? What position is the reader invited to have?

–          It is to be said that satirists often tread a fine line between amusing their readers and alienating them.

–          Verse Satire – this is always a long poem (usually several hundred lines in length) and usually addresses a major subject such as politics or religion.

–          Satirical Poem – this is usually much shorter and its target is more limited.

–          Horatian Satire – this is coined after the Roman poet, Horace and it uses gentle mockery.

–          Juvenalian Satire – this is names after the Roman poet, Juvenal. This uses harsher mocking and is often bitter and cutting.

–          Epigram – this is often satirical. It is a short poem with a witty turn of thought.

–          Epistle – this is a satire written in the form of a letter.

I hope this short summary has helped to explain satirical poetry. If you have any questions please feel free to post below and I will answer them for you!

Dramatic Monologues Explained!

Dramatic monologue (also known as a persona poem) is related to lyrical poetry as it is an expression of thoughts and feelings. The speaker of a dramatic monologue should be addressed as the ‘speaker’ or ‘poet’ instead of the ‘narrator’.  Although there is a narrative feature to an extent, it is implied through the expression of thoughts and feelings.

The characteristics of a dramatic monologue are:

–          An invented speaker – a character that is not the poet.

–          A situation that provides conflict or tension, for example a murder or an affair.

–          An implied audience to whom the speaker is addressing.

–          Often (although not always) there is a balance of judgement and sympathy, for example if somebody kills their husband/wife because they have had an affair you may judge them as it is murder but you may also feel sympathy for them because of the heartbreak that drove them to that extreme action.

–          There is only one voice present in the monologue.

Lyrical Poetry Explained!

Lyrical poetry is a form common within a lot of poems; however it can be quite difficult to determine what does and does not confer to this form. So in this short text I will help to explain the features, common characteristics and how to determine what lyrical poetry is.

Lyrical poetry is in general shorter than epics and plays. It is an expression of one’s personal thoughts, feelings and emotions and is often connoted with songs. It would never describe a series of events (as that would make the poem a narrative), but the feelings felt within the occurrences. The voice within the poem does not necessarily have to be that of the poet’s, it could be that of a fictional character. The form it takes can be speech, song like, or a combination of the two. A common example of lyrical poetry is a sonnet. The meter used within lyrical poetry is predominantly regular, such as iambic or trochaic and represents the rhythm of a song or a chant. Often refrains are included (the repetition of certain lines in a poem or a song for effect) which almost ‘acts’ as a chorus in the poem. Non-lyrical poetry on the other hand can be dramatic verse (common in monologues and plays) and narrative (the telling of events).

I hope this short summary has helped to explain lyrical poetry, if you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I will answer them.