Poetry through the Ages

Poetry through the Ages
Poetic forms in Elizabethan,
Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist
History of Poetry
• from the Greek word poesis, which means
“making,” or “creating.”
• Originally composed and shared orally; often
set to music
• Commonalities with folktales
• Beowulf first known recorded English (old
English) poem
Genres of Poetry
• Ballad: to be sung/recited; physical courage and love; about
common people
• Sonnet: Italian/Petrarchan and English/Shakespearian; 14
lines (ending with rhyming couplet). abab cdcd efef gg
• Blank Verse: unrhymed but in iambic pentameter ( ĕé)
• Free Verse: does not follow set rhyme, meter, rhythm
• Lyric: often set to melody; focus on personal emotion
Poetry Timeline
Elizabethan: 1560-1600
Romantics: 1780-1830
Victorians: 1833-1903
Modernist: 1920-1960
Post-modernist: 1980-
Elizabethan poetry
• Queen Elizabeth 1st reigned from 1558-1603
• Bloody time in English history
• William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow,
Edmund Spenser most popular
• Sonnets, blank verse, narrative poems
• 1780-1830
Focus on:
• Libertariansim
• Nature and the sublime
• Alternate sources of truth and beauty
• The supernatural
Popular Poets
• William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel
Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Bysshe
• 1833-1903
Focus on:
• Hope vs. Uncertainty
• Science vs. Spirituality
• The Rise of Women
Popular Poets:
• Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barret Browning, the
Brönte sisters, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rosetti,
Lord Alfred Tennyson
• 1920-1960
Focus on:
• Imagism
• Free verse
• Fundamental Spirituality
• Destruction and Darkness
• Self-reflection on art
Popular poets:
• T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings