Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Althing, he was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is taken to be the author of Egil's saga. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur í Dölum into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1179, his parents were his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir. He had two older brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland; as Sturla was trying to settle a lawsuit with the priest and chieftain Páll Sölvason, Páll's wife lunged at him with a knife — intending, she said, to make him like his one-eyed hero Odin — but bystanders deflected the blow to his cheek instead.
The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise and educate Snorri. Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made, he attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi, never returned to his parents' home. His father died in his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorri's share of the inheritance. Jón Loftsson died in 1197; the two families arranged a marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at a chieftainship, he soon chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg, they had Hallbera and Jón. The marriage succumbed to Snorri's philandering, in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there, but without Herdís, he made significant improvements including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have been preserved to some extent.
During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women: Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, Þuríður Hallsdóttir. Snorri became known as a poet, but was a lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the only public office of the Icelandic commonwealth and a position of high respect. In the summer of 1218, he sailed to Norway, by royal invitation. There he became well acquainted with the teen-aged King Hákon Hákonarson and his co-regent, Jarl Skúli, he spent the winter as house-guest of the jarl. They showered gifts upon him, including the ship in which he sailed, he in return wrote poetry about them. In the summer of 1219 he met his Swedish colleague, the lawspeaker Eskil Magnusson, his wife, Kristina Nilsdotter Blake, in Skara, they were both related to royalty and gave Snorri an insight into the history of Sweden. Snorri was interested in history and culture; the Norwegian regents, cultivated Snorri, made him a skutilsvein, a senior title equivalent to knight, received an oath of loyalty.
The king hoped to extend his realm to Iceland, which he could do by a resolution of the Althing, of which Snorri had been a key member. In 1220, Snorri returned to Iceland and by 1222 was back as lawspeaker of the Althing, which he held this time until 1232; the basis of his election was his fame as a poet. Politically he was the king's spokesman, supporting union with Norway, a platform that acquired him enemies among the chiefs. In 1224, Snorri married Hallveig Ormsdottir, a granddaughter of Jón Loftsson, now a widow of great means with two young sons, made a contract of joint property ownership with her, their children did not survive to adulthood, but Hallveig's sons and seven of Snorri's children did live to adulthood. Snorri was the most powerful chieftain in Iceland during the years 1224–1230. Many of the other chiefs found his position as royal office-holder contrary to their interests the other Sturlungar. Snorri's strategy was to consolidate power over them, at which point he could offer Iceland to the king.
His first moves were civic. On the death in 1222 of Sæmundur, son of Jón Loftsson, he became a suitor for the hand of his daughter, Sólveig. Herdís' silent vote did nothing for his suit, his nephew, Sturla Sighvatsson, Snorri's political opponent, stepped in to marry her in 1223, the year before Snorri met Hallveig. A period of clan feuding followed. Snorri perceived that only resolute, saga-like actions could achieve his objective, but he proved unwilling or incapable of carrying them out, he raised an armed party under another nephew, Böðvar Þórðarson, another under his son, Órækja, with the intent of executing a first strike against his brother Sighvatur and Sturla Sighvatsson. On the eve of battle he dismissed those offered terms to his brother. Sighvatur and Sturla with a force of 1000 men drove Snorri into the countryside, where he sought refuge among the other chiefs. Órækja undertook guerrilla operations in the fjords of western Iceland and the war was on. Haakon IV made an effort to intervene from afar, inviting al
The Prose Edda known as the Younger Edda, Snorri's Edda or simply as Edda, is an Old Norse work of literature written in Iceland in the early 13th century. The work is assumed to have been written, or at least compiled, by the Icelandic scholar and historian Snorri Sturluson around the year 1220, it begins with a euhemerized Prologue, a section on the Norse cosmogony and myths. This is followed by three distinct books: Skáldskaparmál and Háttatal. Seven manuscripts, dating from around 1300 to around 1600, have independent textual value. Sturluson planned the collection as a textbook, it was to enable Icelandic poets and readers to understand the subtleties of alliterative verse, to grasp the meaning behind the many kenningar that were used in skaldic poetry. The Prose Edda was referred to as Edda, but was titled the Prose Edda in modern collections to distinguish it from the collections titled Poetic Edda that are based on Codex Regius, a collection of poetry composed after Edda in 13th century Iceland.
At that time, versions of the Edda were well known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was an Elder Edda which contained the poems which Snorri quotes in his Edda. The etymology of "Edda" remains uncertain; some argue that the word derives from the name of Oddi, a town in the south of Iceland where Snorri was raised. Edda could therefore mean "book of Oddi." However, this assumption is rejected. Faulkes in his English translation of the Prose Edda commented that this is "unlikely, both in terms of linguistics and history" since Snorri was no longer living at Oddi when he composed his work. Another connection was made with the word "óðr", which means "inspiration" in Old Norse. According to Faulkes, though such a connection is plausible semantically, it is unlikely that "Edda" could have been coined in the 13th century on the basis of "óðr", because such a development "would have had to have taken place gradually", "Edda" in the sense of "poetics" is not to have existed in the preliterary period.
Edda means "great-grandparent", a word used by Snorri himself in the Skáldskaparmál. That is, with the same meaning, the name of a character in the Rigsthula and other medieval texts; this hypothesis has attracted François-Xavier Dillmann, author of a French translation of the Edda, who said "it seems that this person's name was chosen as the title of the work due to the fact that it was a collection of ancient knowledge" or, in the words of Régis Boyer, the "grandparent of all sacred knowledge". A final hypothesis is derived from the Latin "edo", meaning "I write", it relies on the fact that the word "kredda" is certified and comes from the Latin "credo", "I believe." It seems Snorri would have been able to invent the word. Edda in this case could be translated as "Poetic Art"; this is the meaning that the word was given in the Middle Ages. The name Sæmundar Edda was given by the Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson to the collection of poems contained in the Codex Regius, many of which are quoted by Snorri.
Brynjólfur, along with many others of his time incorrectly believed that they were collected by Sæmundr fróði, so the Poetic Edda is known as the Elder Edda. Seven manuscripts of the Edda have survived: six compositions of the Middle Ages and another dating to the 1600s. No one manuscript is complete, each has variations. In addition to three fragments, the four main manuscripts are Codex Regius, Codex Wormianus, Codex Trajectinus and the Codex Upsaliensis. Codex Upsaliensis was composed in the first quarter of the fourteenth century and is the oldest manuscript preserved of the Edda of Snorri, it has the advantage of providing some variants that are not found in any of the three other major manuscripts. It is preserved in the library of the University of Uppsala; the Codex Regius was written in the first half of the fourteenth century. It is the most comprehensive of the four manuscripts, seems closer to the original; this is why it is the basis for translations of the Edda. Its name is derived from its conservation in the Royal Library of Denmark for several centuries.
From 1973 to 1997, hundreds of ancient Icelandic manuscripts were returned from Denmark to Iceland, including, in 1985, the Codex Regius, now preserved by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavík. Codex Wormianus was written in the mid-fourteenth century, it is still part of the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection created by Árni Magnússon, in Copenhagen. Codex Trajectinus was written around 1600, it is a copy of a manuscript, made in the second half of the thirteenth century. It is preserved in the library of the University of Utrecht. Although some scholars have doubted whether a sound stemma of the manuscripts can be created, due to the possibility of scribes drawing on multiple exemplars or from memory, recent work has found that the main sources of each manuscript can be readily ascertained; the assumption that Snorri Sturluson is responsible for writing the Edda is based on the following paragraph from a portion of Codex Upsaliensis, an early 14th-century manuscript containing the Edda: This book is called Edda.
Snorri Sturluson compiled it in the way. First it tells about the Æsir and Ymir comes the poetic diction section with the poetic n
Poetic Edda is the modern attribution for an unnamed collection of Old Norse anonymous poems, different from the Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Several versions exist, all of text from the Icelandic medieval manuscript known as the Codex Regius; the Codex Regius is arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends. From the early 19th century onwards, it has had a powerful influence on Scandinavian literatures. Not only by its stories, but by the visionary force and the dramatic quality of many of the poems, it has become an inspiring model for many innovations in poetic meter in Nordic languages, offering many varied examples of terse, stress-based metrical schemes that lack any final rhyme by instead using alliterative devices and strongly-concentrated imagery. Poets who have acknowledged their debt to the Codex Regius include Vilhelm Ekelund, August Strindberg, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Karin Boye. Codex Regius was written in the 13th century, but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643, when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson Bishop of Skálholt.
At the time, versions of the Edda were known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda, an Elder Edda, which contained the pagan poems that Snorri quotes in his Edda. When Codex Regius was discovered, it seemed that the speculation had proved, but modern scholarly research has shown that Edda was written first and the two were, at most, connected by a common source. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest; that attribution is rejected by modern scholars, but the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes associated with both the "Codex Regius" and versions of "Poetic Edda" using it as a source. Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king. For centuries, it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971, it was returned to Iceland; the Eddic poems are composed in alliterative verse. Most are in fornyrðislag; the rest, about a quarter, are composed in ljóðaháttr. The language of the poems is clear and unadorned.
Kennings are employed, though they do not arise as nor are they as complex, as those found in skaldic poetry. Like most early poetry, the Eddic poems were minstrel poems, passing orally from singer to singer and from poet to poet for centuries. None of the poems are attributed to a particular author, though many of them show strong individual characteristics and are to have been the work of individual poets. Scholars sometimes speculate on hypothetical authors, but firm and accepted conclusions have never been reached; the dating of the poems has been a source of lively scholarly argument for a long time, firm conclusions are hard to reach. Lines from the Eddic poems sometimes appear in poems by known poets, but such evidence is difficult to evaluate. For example, Eyvindr skáldaspillir composed in the latter half of the 10th century, he uses a couple of lines in his Hákonarmál which are found in Hávamál, it is possible that he was quoting a known poem, but it is possible that Hávamál, or at least the strophe in question, is the younger derivative work.
The few demonstrably historical characters mentioned in the poems, such as Attila, provide a terminus post quem of sorts. The dating of the manuscripts themselves provides a more useful terminus ante quem. Individual poems have individual clues to their age. For example, Atlamál hin groenlenzku is claimed by its title to have been composed in Greenland, seems so by some internal evidence. If so, it can be no earlier than about 985, since there were no Scandinavians in Greenland until that time. In some cases, old poems may have been merged with other poems. For example, stanzas 9-16 of Völuspá, the "Dvergatal" or "Roster of Dwarfs", is considered by some scholars to be an interpolation; the problem of dating the poems is linked with the problem of finding out. Iceland was not settled until about 870, so anything composed before that time would have been elsewhere, most in Scandinavia. Any young poems, on the other hand, are Icelandic in origin. Scholars have attempted to localize individual poems by studying the geography and fauna to which they refer.
This approach does not yield firm results. For example, there are no wolves in Iceland, but we can be sure that Icelandic poets were familiar with the species; the apocalyptic descriptions of Völuspá have been taken as evidence that the poet who composed it had seen a volcanic eruption in Iceland - but this is hardly certain. Some poems similar to those found in Codex Regius are included in some editions of the Poetic Edda. Important manuscripts include AM 748 I Hauksbók and Flateyjarbók. Many of the poems are quoted in Snorri's Edda, but only in bits and pieces. What poems are included in an edition of the Poetic Edda depends on the editor; those not in Codex Regius are sometimes called Eddica minora, from their appearance in an edition with that title edited by Andreas Heusler and Wilhelm Ranisch in 1903. English translators are not consistent on the translations of the names of the Eddic poems or on how the Old Norse forms should be rendered in English. Up to three translated titles are given below, taken from the translations of Bellows and Larrington with proper names in the normalized English forms found in John Lindow's Norse Mythology and in Andy Orchard's Cassell's Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend.
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may be described as such by others. A poet may be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience; the work of a poet is one of communication, either expressing ideas in a literal sense, such as writing about a specific event or place, or metaphorically. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, have produced works that vary in different cultures and periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced. In Ancient Rome, professional poets were sponsored by patrons, wealthy supporters including nobility and military officials. For instance, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, friend to Caesar Augustus, was an important patron for the Augustan poets, including both Horace and Virgil. Poets held an important position in pre-Islamic Arabic society with the poet or sha'ir filling the role of historian and propagandist.
Words in praise of the tribe and lampoons denigrating other tribes seem to have been some of the most popular forms of early poetry. The sha'ir represented an individual tribe's prestige and importance in the Arabian peninsula, mock battles in poetry or zajal would stand in lieu of real wars.'Ukaz, a market town not far from Mecca, would play host to a regular poetry festival where the craft of the sha'irs would be exhibited. In the High Middle Ages, troubadors were an important class of poets and came from a variety of backgrounds, they lived and travelled in many different places and were looked upon as actors or musicians as much as poets. They were under patronage, but many travelled extensively; the Renaissance period saw a continuation of patronage of poets by royalty. Many poets, had other sources of income, including Italians like Dante Aligheri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarch's works in a pharmacist's guild and William Shakespeare's work in the theater. In the Romantic period and onwards, many poets were independent writers who made their living through their work supplemented by income from other occupations or from family.
This included poets such as Robert Burns. Poets such as Virgil in the Aeneid and John Milton in Paradise Lost invoked the aid of a Muse. Poets of earlier times were well read and educated people while others were to a large extent self-educated. A few poets such as John Gower and John Milton were able to write poetry in more than one language; some Portuguese poets, as Francisco de Sá de Miranda, wrote not only in Portuguese but in Spanish. Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and in Latin, France Prešeren and Karel Hynek Mácha wrote some poems in German, although they were poets of Slovenian and Czech respectively. Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest poet of Polish language, wrote a Latin ode for emperor Napoleon III. Another example is a Polish poet; when he moved to Great Britain, he ceased to write poetry in Polish, but started writing novel in English. He translated poetry from English and into English. Many universities offer degrees in creative writing though these only came into existence in the 20th century.
While these courses are not necessary for a career as a poet, they can be helpful as training, for giving the student several years of time focused on their writing. List of poets Bard Lyricist Reginald Gibbons, The Poet's Work: 29 poets on the origins and practice of their art. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226290546 at Google Books Poets' Graves
Húsdrápa is a skaldic poem preserved in the Prose Edda where disjoint stanzas of it are quoted. It is attributed to the skald Úlfr Uggason; the poem describes mythological scenes carved on kitchen panels. In the stanzas that have come down to us three such scenes are described. Thor's fishing trip. Baldr's funeral. An obscure myth understood by Snorri Sturluson to deal with a competition between Loki and Heimdallr for Brísingamen. Húsdrápa is compared with Haustlöng and Ragnarsdrápa which describe artworks depicting mythological scenes; the poem is mentioned in Laxdæla saga: "The wedding feast was a crowded one, for the new hall was finished. Ulf Uggason was of the bidden guests, he had made a poem on Olaf Hoskuldson and of the legends that were painted round the hall, he gave it forth at the feast; this poem is called the House Song, is well made. Olaf rewarded him well for the poem." Hollander, Lee M.. The skalds: a selection of their poems.: University of Michigan Press. Press, Muriel. Laxdale Saga.
London: The Temple Classics. Húsdrápa in Old Norse from «Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad» Norway
The second part of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda the Skáldskaparmál is a dialogue between Ægir, the Norse god of the sea, Bragi, the god of poetry, in which both Norse mythology and discourse on the nature of poetry are intertwined. The origin of a number of kennings is given, he goes on to discuss poetic language in some detail, in particular heiti, the concept of poetical words which are non-periphrastic, again systematises these. This in a way forms an early form of poetic thesaurus. Anthony Faulkes, "The sources of Skáldskaparmál: Snorri’s intellectual background", in: Alois Wolf, Snorri Sturluson, Volume 51 of ScriptOralia, Gunter Narr Verlag, 59–76. EditionsSveinbjörn Egilsson Edda Snorra Sturlusonar:: eða Gylfaginníng, Skáldskaparmál og Háttatal, 45–143. Guðni Jónsson, Eddukvaeði,Íslendingasagnaútgáfan Anthony Faulkes, Edda. TranslationsRasmus Björn Anderson Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur