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history of Poetry

History of Poetry

Poetry as an art form that predates literacy was used by civilization to keep an oral record of their traditions, law, and lineage. Epic poems were one of the first forms of oral history. Some of the earliest poetry is believed to have been orally recited or sun. With the development of writing, poetry has since developed into increasingly structured forms, though much of poetry since late 19th century has moved away from traditional forms towards the move of free verse and prose poem formats.

Ancient poetry is attributed to musical traditions and much of it can be accredited to religious movements. Many poems from the ancient world are a form of recorded cultural information of the people of the past; prayers or stories about religious subject matter, histories about their politics and wars are precious artifacts from preliterate history.

From the Vedas of India to the Odyssey are believed to probably be prepared in poetry form to help the oral history be easily memorized and oral transmission in ancient societies. Poetry often is found to be the earliest form records of most cultures. The oldest surviving poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh. The oldest love poem found was on a clay tablet from Samaria, known as the Istanbul # 2461. The Tibetan Epic of King Gesar is one of the longest epic poems known.

Classical and early modern western traditional thinkers made classifications as a way to define poetry as we know it today. The Poetic by Aristotle describes three genres of poetry as defined: epic, comic, and tragic. He developed rules to distinguish the best quality poetry of each category. Later in the history of poetry aestheticians identified and modified Aristotle’s three categories of poetry to epic, lyric poetry, and dramatic poetry. The classic writers treated comedy and tragedy as subcategories of dramatic poetry. Aristotle’s works heavily influenced the Islamic Golden Age in the Middle East and Europe during the Renaissance. Poetry’s purpose became a way to render the beautiful or sublime without engaging in typical logical or narrative thought processes. The romantic poet’s approach saw as pivotal for a successful poem because form is abstract and unique from logic. During the romantic poetic age there was also substantially more interaction among the various poetic traditions, in part due to the spread of colonialism of Europe and attendant rise in global trade. During the romantic period numerous ancient works were rediscovered. The use of verse to transmit cultural information continues today.

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