Poetry: what is it, types, examples, history

protection click fraud

Poetry it is what we call the pluri-significant, subjective and ambiguous content of a text, which can be written in verse or in prose. In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, it was sung, and it was only dissociated from music from the 15th century onwards. The types of poetry are: elegy, eclogue, ode, epithalamium, satire and madrigal.

The poem is a textual structure that presents verses, stanzas and, in most cases, rhymes.

Read too: What characterizes literary language?

Topics in this article

  • 1 - What is poetry?
  • 2 - Characteristics of poetry
  • 3 - Types of poetry
  • 4 - Examples of poetry
  • 5 - Differences between poetry and poem
  • 6 - Structure of the poem
  • 7 - History of poetry

What is poetry?

What defines a poetry, above all, is the content of the poetic text. Thus, it can be written in both verse and prose. Poetry is multi-meaningful, presents ambiguity, figures of speech, subjectivity. Clarity is not characteristic of poetry, which is always shrouded in a mystery to be unraveled by the reader.

Characteristics of poetry

instagram story viewer
  • subjective language

  • Presence of a lyrical self

  • Manifestation of emotions

  • expression of ideas

  • Connotation

  • cryptic content

  • Multiple possibilities of interpretation

  • Ability to provoke strangeness

types of poetry

The following types of poetry are defined based on the content of lyric poetry:

  • elegy: sad events or death theme

  • eclogue: pastoral, bucolic, peasant elements

  • ode: exaltation of noble values ​​or homage to something or someone

  • epithalamium: wedding celebration

  • satire: ridicule of something or someone, in a jocular tone

  • madrigal: pastoral and heroic elements

Do not stop now... There's more after the ad ;)

Examples of poetry

Here are some excerpts from poetry by renowned authors:

Elegy 1938

You work joylessly for a lapsed world,
where forms and actions do not contain any examples.
Laboriously practice the universal gestures,
you feel hot and cold, lack of money, hunger and sexual desire.

Heroes fill the city parks where you crawl,
and they advocate virtue, renunciation, cold-bloodedness, conception.
At night, if fog, they open bronze umbrellas
or retreat to the volumes of sinister libraries.


Proud heart, you are in a hurry to confess your defeat
and postpone collective happiness to another century.
You accept rain, war, unemployment and unfair distribution
because you can't single-handedly blow up Manhattan Island.

ANDRADE, Carlos Drummond de. world feeling.|1|

Eclogue I: The chiefs of the Tagus

I sing the two Shepherds
that the crystalline Tagus
On the beautiful shore he saw: I sing the divine
love subject,
That of envy, and of pleasure
The sky, the earth, the sea have a boyfriend.

Also of the beautiful Nymphs,
That Love saw scorched,
The numbers then: if among those
delicate cadences,
Rude the sound of my singing
Make yourself worthy, Lord, of so much favor.


COSTA, Cláudio Manuel da. Poetic Works of Glauceste Saturn.|2|

ode to glasses

just pretend to put
the world within reach
of my myopic eyes

actually exile me
him with filter him
the smallest image.

I don't see things anymore
as they are: I see them as they want
see them.


PAES, José Paulo. Prose followed by minimal odes.|3|

Epithalamus of the Most Excellent Lady D. Maria Amalia

Fortunate husband, in whom he has placed
The Fatherland its sweet hopes,
In the midst of the applause, and the taste
Ah, know what you achieve, and what you achieve.
Fortune, which turns her face to so many,
Put the fugitive braids in your hand.
Prize of your ardor, the blind Goddess
How much he can give you everything he gives you.


GAMA, Basilio da. Poetic works by Basilio da Gama.|4|

Describes what the city of Bahia was like at that time

At every corner a great counselor,
Who wants to govern us hut and vineyard;
They don't know how to govern their kitchen,
And they can rule the whole world.

At every door a very frequent scout,
That the life of the neighbor and the neighbor
Search, listen, spy and scan,
To take you to the square and the terreiro.


Stupendous usuries in the markets,
All those who do not steal very poor:
And here is the city of Bahia.

MATOS, Gregorio de. Chosen poems by Gregório de Matos.|5|

Madrigal I

Gentle pure source,
That you descend murmuring on the sand,
I know that beautiful Glaura recreates herself
Seeing in you the tenderness of your eyes:
She already looks for you;
Oh! how beautiful she is, and without regret!
Don't paint his face:
Paint him, O clear fountain, for pity's sake
My tender love, my unhappy longing.

ALVARENGA, Manuel Ignacio da Silva. Glaura: erotic poems.|6|

cold star

[poetic prose]

Amidst mystical, silent cells, there you went to be silent forever, O harmonious and famous songbird, in the heavy cloisters.

Pink and gold in the lighted theater hall, it trilled ineffably upwards, and now, I don't know by what tempestuous passion that desolated you one day, you were infinitely secluded, under the dim roofs of a convent, like a rare opulent rose in a sad greenhouse, escaping from the sun of the meadows.

Cold and mute you will perhaps be, by now, kneeling in the chapel of a glacial Christ of sacred ivory — white, glacial and whiter. ivory than this Christ, with his white hands of wax and a face also of wax macerated by fasting and hair sacks, in somber robes talars.

And, so mute and so cold, you will pass like the shadow of a lively affection or of a deep artistic feeling, in the soft amber glow of the carved lamps.

Your winged profile, your smooth lines, will be, in the religious twilight of the chapel, as if the memory of the aroma, the light, the sound that you were for Art.


CRUZ AND SOUSA. Missal. In: PEREZ, José (org.).|7|

Differences between poetry and poem

O poem is a text genre characterized by the following elements: verse, stanza and rime. The main one is the verse. There is no poem written in prose form. It may even have only one stanza or not rhyme at all; but, necessarily, it must have verses.

So, there are lyrical and narrative poems. A lyrical poem is one that presents a content of poetry. The narrative poem, on the other hand, tells a story and, therefore, presents characteristics of the narrative genre. What these two types of poem have in common is their structure, that is, a text written in verse.

already the poetry can be present both in a text in verse and in a text in prose. After all, poetry is a text with pluri-significant content. Thus, not every poem is poetry, and not all poetry is a poem, since there is poetic prose. Therefore, poem is a textual structure, while poetry is related to certain textual content.

Read too: Haikai — type of poem of Japanese origin marked by conciseness

poem structure

O poem, necessarily, presents verses — each line of text. These lines can be regular (with meter and rhyme), blank (with meter and without rhyme) or free (without meter and without rhyme). In addition, the lines make up the stanzas.

Therefore, a stanza can have one or more lines. A couplet, for example, is a two-line stanza; a tercet, with three lines; a quartet, with four lines, and so on. Finally, the poem can have rhymes, which, among other classifications, can be rich (between words of different grammatical classes) or poor (between words of the same grammatical class).

history of poetry

THE poetry already existed in antiquity. Despite epics as Iliad and Odyssey, by Homer, are the most famous works of this period, lyric poetry was also produced. And one of its great names was that of the poet Sappho, whose work has come down to our days in fragments, since much of it has been lost over the centuries.

While the epic made it possible to extol the culture and tradition of a people, the Lyric poetry was characterized by the individual expression of feelings and ideas. At that time, poetry was not read or recited, but sung, mainly to the sound of the lyre (hence the adjective “lyrical”). the poetry troubadour from the Middle Ages was also sung. That's why we call it a medieval song.

It was just from the fifteenth century that poetry and music were dissociated. Thus, palace poetry emerged, which was declaimed. But it was only during rbirth that lyrical poetry came to be as valued as narrative poems were. From then on, and until our days, the individual reading of lyrical poetry started to be valued.


|1| ANDRADE, Carlos Drummond de. world feeling. 13. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2001.

|2| COSTA, Cláudio Manuel da. Poetic Works of Glauceste Saturn. Available here.

|3| PAES, José Paulo. Prose followed by minimal odes. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1992.

|4| GAMA, Basilio da. Poetic works by Basilio da Gama. Sao Paulo: Edusp, 1996.

|5| MATOS, Gregorio de. Chosen poems by Gregório de Matos. Selection of José Miguel Wisnik. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2010.

|6| ALVARENGA, Manuel Ignacio da Silva. Glaura: erotic poems. Lisbon: Nunesiana Workshop, 1799.

|7| CRUZ AND SOUSA. Missal. In: PEREZ, José (org.). Cruz and Sousa: prose. 2. ed. São Paulo: Culture, 1945.

By Warley Souza
Literature teacher

Pampas: location, climate, relief, fauna

Pampas: location, climate, relief, fauna

pampa it is a biome which extends across southern South America, comprising areas of humid subtro...

read more
Monkeypox: what is it, transmission, cases

Monkeypox: what is it, transmission, cases

THE monkey pox is a viral disease similar to smallpox (eradicated in the world, in 1980, through ...

read more
Soil types: what are they and the Brazilian types

Soil types: what are they and the Brazilian types

You soil types are the different classes used to distinguish the soils present on the earth's sur...

read more
instagram viewer