Poetry BA English First Semester BBMKU

Poetry BA English: in this article, you will understand what is poetry, its elements and its types. This article is specially made for the BA English honours students that will help them to score good marks in their examination.

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Poetry Definition: Poetry BA English

The term poetry comes from the “Greek” word “Poiesis” which means the “act of making or creating something“. It is one of the oldest forms of literature. It is a musical form of literature. It creates imagery and uses figurative language with words to convey the message. It expresses the poet’s feelings, thoughts and emotions. It is a musical composition of literature. Similar words of poetry are verse, poesy and poem.
In simple words, we can say that poetry is a way through which poets express their inner feelings, thoughts and emotions.

Elements of Poetry: Poetry BA English

There are many elements that are used to compose poetry. Some of the important elements of poetry are written below:

  • Stanza: It reffers to the group of lines within the poem. A group of two lines is called couplet, a group of three lines is called tercet stanza, and a group of four lines is called quatrain stanza.
  • Rhyme: Rhyme reffers to the same ending sound at the end of the line in a poem. It gives a musical effect to the poetry.
  • Theme: Theme reffers to the centeral idea of the poetry or we can say that it is the base of the story. A theme of the poetry can be anything such as patriotic, friendship, love, life etc.
  • Rhythm: Rhyme is one of the essential elements of poetry. It provides a musical effect to the poem. When we talk about rhyme we’re talking about the syllables which are used in the poetry. A combination of two syllables is called one foot.
  • Figurative Language: Figurative language are also known as literary device or literary terms. Literary devices play an important role in the formation of a poem. There are many literary device such as:
    1) Simile- it is a literary device that comapares one thing to another using the words “like and as”. For example- Black as coal. He plays cricket like M.S. Dhoni.
    2) Metaphor- it is a literary device that directly compares one thing to another. For example- The classroom was zoo. Heart of gold.
    3) Archaism- An archaiism is the use of outdated words and phrases. For example- who art thou?
    4) Alliteration- it reffers to the repetition of the same consonant letter initial sound within the group of words. For example- Ba ba black ship.

Types of Poetry

There are several types of poetry such as the sonnet, lyric, elegy, ode, epic, mock-epic, ballade etc. Each type of poetry is defined below:

Sonnet: The term sonnet comes from the Italian word sonnetto which means a little sweet song. The sonnet originated in Italy in 1230 A.D. by Giacomo da Lentini and later it spread to the different countries in Europe state. Sonnets are a poem of fourteen lines that contains iambic pentameter in each line of the poem. Sonnet is divided into three categories such as Italian Sonnet, Spenserian Sonnet and English sonnet. Each type of the sonnet are defined below:
Italian Sonnet- It is also known as Petrarchan Sonnet. It has 14 lines devided into two stanzas: octave and sestet. It contains ABBA ABBA CDE CDE rhyme scheme. This is the original form of a sonnet.
Spenserian Sonnet- It also contains fourteen lines and is written in iambic pentameter in each line. It has divided into four stanzas and has an interlocking rhyme scheme- abab bcbc cdcd ee.
English Sonnet- It is also known as Shakespearean sonnet due to the fact Shakespeare made it popular. It has an alternating rhyme scheme- abab cdcd efef gg.

Lyric: The term lyric comes from the Greek word lyre which means “a musical instrument”. So lyric poetry is a poem that can be sung as a song with a lyre musical instrument. It is a musical short poem. It is concerned with the poet or poetess and with his or her feelings. Lyric poetry is generally written with the theme of life, love, death and others. The Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns is an example of lyric poetry.

Elegy: Elegy poems are generally written on someone’s death. It is a mourning or lament song. It is an expression of sorrow. Poets write such kinds of poetry to express their inner pathetic feeling through poems after the death of someone special to the poet. An Elegy written on a country churchyard by Thomas Gray is an example of Elegy poetry.

Ode: Ode is a special kind of lyrical poetry. It is addressed to someone or something. It is generally written on someone’s victory to praise him or her. There are three kinds of ode such as Pindaric Ode, Horatian Ode and Irregular Ode. Ode to the west wind by PB Shelly is an example of Ode poetry.

Epic: The term epic has derived from the ancient Greek word “epos” meaning story, poem or word. Epic poems are the sub-genre of lyrical poetry. It is written on some extraordinary men or women and on their heroic deeds. It is long narrative poetry, usually containing twelve books. Paradise Lost by John Milton, Odyssey and Iliad by Homer a popular example of Epic poetry.

Mock-Epic: Mock-epic is the sub a genre of epic poetry. Each and every element of epic poetry is used in Mock- epic but in such a manner that creates humour. Mock-epic poems are short narrative poems. It tells a story and deals with heroic themes.

Ballade: The term Ballade comes from the Greek word ballare which means “to dance”. Ballade poems are short storytelling poems. It also deals with heroic themes like epic poetry and mock-epic. It is composed to dance.

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