Eras of poetry

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Last updated: November 29, 2019

Elizabethan poetry
-During Queen Elizabeth I from ~1558 to ~1603-Time of Shakespeare-‘Shakespearean sonnet’ era-Influenced by former Renaissance period of poetry-Classical, lyrical style-Examples: Edmund Spencer, Philip Sydney, Walter Raleigh, and Christopher Marlow

Metaphysical poetry
-17th century-A subtler, provocative lyric poetry movement that sought greater depth in its verse-Poets defined and compared their subjects through nature, philosophy, love and musings about the hereafter-A departure from the primarily religious poetry that had been before-The poets sought to minimise their place within the poem and to look beyond the obvious-Examples: Samuel Cowley, John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell

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Cavalier poetry

Romantic poetry
-Romantic literary movement lasted from ~1800 to ~1850-Emphasised emotion, nature and individuality-Era was artistic, literary, and cultural-Poems were written with passion about love, including much emotion.-Poets e.g.

William Wordsworth tried to emphasise intuition over reason-Examples: William Blake, Samuel T. Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Keats

Victorian poetry
-During Queen Victoria from ~1837 to ~1901-Brought a new wave of poetry that was influenced by Romanticism-From the rich and rhythmic quality to the lyrical purity and powerful exploration of loss and faith, Victorian was still distinctly different-The great age of whimsy and nonsense, where people wrote about God’s existence, the occult and the mysterious-Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, and Thomas Hardy

Modern poetry
-Verse created in 20th and 21st centuries-Some people would define modern poetry to include the poets of the 19th century, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman. Recognizable aspects of modern poetry include an emphasis on strong imagery and emotional content and less reliance on the use of rhyme. American poet Walt Whitman, who published his influential book Leaves of Grass in 1855, is one of the founders of modern poetry. His disregard for traditional rhyme and meter led him to be called “the father of free verse”, and gave him a strong influence on later poets.

Some poets from this era are Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, and Arthur Symons.

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