Poetry (from the Greek "ποίησις," poiesis, a "making" or "creating") is an art form in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, notional and semantic content. Poetry has a long history, and early attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the various uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. Poetry often uses condensed forms and conventions to reinforce or expand the meaning of the underlying words or to invoke emotional or sensual experiences in the reader, as well as using devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm to achieve musical or incantatory effects.
, alliterative verse
is a form of verse
that uses alliteration
as the principal structuring device to unify lines of poetry, as opposed to other devices such as rhyme
The most intensively studied traditions of alliterative verse are those found in the oldest literature of many Germanic languages. Alliterative verse, in various forms, is found widely in the literary traditions of the early Germanic languages. The Old English epic Beowulf, as well as most other Old English poetry, the Old High German Muspilli, the Old Saxon Heliand, and the Old Norse Poetic Edda all use alliterative verse.
Alliterative verse can be found in many other languages as well, although rarely with the systematic rigor of Germanic forms. The Finnish Kalevala and the Estonian Kalevipoeg both use alliterative forms derived from folk tradition. Traditional Turkic verse, for example that of the Uyghur, is also alliterative.
Illustration from Jami's Rose Garden of the Pious, 1553. The image blends Persian poetry and Persian miniature into one, as is the norm for many works of Persian literature.
Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon herdsman attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey) during the abbacy of St. Hilda (657–681), he was originally ignorant of the art of song but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream. He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational religious poet.
Cædmon is one of twelve Anglo-Saxon poets identified in medieval sources, and one of only three for whom both roughly contemporary biographical information and examples of literary output have survived. His story is told to us in the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ("History of the English church") by St. Bede.
|Sonnet 66 by William Shakespeare
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly doctor-like controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
||To have great poets, there must be great audiences.
Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish words. All languages use intonation to express emphasis, contrast, emotion, or other such nuances, but not every language uses tone to distinguish lexical meaning. When this occurs, tones are phonemes (discrete speech sounds), just like consonants and vowels, and they are occasionally referred to as tonemes.
A slight majority of the languages in the world are tonal. However, most Indo-European languages, which include the majority of the most widely-spoken languages in the world today, are not tonal. The way in which tone is used in a particular language leads to the language being classified either as a tonal language or a pitch accented language.
- For a more comprehensive treatment of poetry topics, see Outline of poetry.
|By culture, nationality or language
||American, Anglo-Welsh, Arabic, Australian, Bengali, Biblical, British, Canadian, Chinese, Cornish, English, Old English, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Jèrriais, Kannada, Korean poetry, Latin American, Latino, Manx, Old Norse, Ottoman, Pakistani, Persian, Scottish, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Urdu, Welsh
|Lists of poets
||Albanian, Afrikaans, Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maltese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushtu, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkic, Urdu, Welsh, Yiddish
|Schools of poetry
||Akhmatova's Orphans, Alexandrian, The Beats, Black Arts Movement, Black Mountain poets, British Poetry Revival, Cairo poets, Cavalier poets, Confessionalists, Cyclic Poets, Dada, Deep image, Della Cruscans, Dolce Stil Novo, Dymock poets, The poets of Elan, Flarf poetry, Fugitives, Garip, Generation of '98, Generation of '27, George-Kreis, Georgian poets, Goliard, Graveyard poets, The Group, Harvard Aesthetes, Imagism, Lake Poets, Language poets, Martian poetry, Metaphysical poets, Misty Poets, Modernist poetry, The Movement, Négritude, New Apocalyptics, New Formalism, New York School, Objectivists, Others group, Parnassian poets, La Pléiade, Rhymers' Club, Rochester Poets, San Francisco Renaissance, Scottish Renaissance, Sicilian School, Sons of Ben, Southern Agrarians, Spasmodic poets, Sung poetry, Surrealism, Symbolism, Uranian poetry
||Poetry by nation or language, Ethnopoetics, Modernist poetry in English, Poems, Poetic form, Poetry awards, Poetry collections, Prosody, Spoken word, Years in poetry, Poetry stubs
- Help write articles for Shakespeare's Sonnets (click on any one on the template at the bottom of the page).
The following Wikimedia
sister projects provide more on this subject: