What are the Origins of Classical Poetry

What are the Origins of Classical Poetry

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  1. “Introduction to Classical Poetry”

    Classical poetry does not have to be such a complex subject to learn. A studious individual who  possesses and embraces a passion for poetry, in essence, may learn as much or little as required for each individual’s needs. But we must have a generalized area to start. As an informative collaborative point of origin, let us begin with this treasured world of antiquity for the written word in the particular genre of poetry. Concerning the world’s love for poetic literature, we have come to an agreeable source of “who” was the first poet (in literary terms of the Western world) deriving from Greek Mythology and the oral traditions of poetic prose handed down generation by generation.

    Theoretically, the oral traditions may have begun first through a poetic expression of life’s struggles and accomplishments either in war, love, history, events, or seasons, and inherently induce the often times metaphorical muse to flow in a completely magnanimous manner. Thematic poetry, poetic styles and forms, Classical & Traditional forms from acrostic (where the first or last letter of a line form a word) to sonnets, Haiku, Epic, and lyrical originate from many different sources and/or individuals. The latter is where we may begin.


    The ancient Greeks embraced an almost pious reality. Homer was responsible for the brilliant composition of The Iliad (c. 750-725) and The Odyssey (c. 743-713), which greatly influenced Greek/Roman literature and shaped the culture and society of the western world. Homer thus has favorably attained notoriety as the recognized voice for these two highly valued compositional works of literary art.

    The composition of the Iliad reveals Helen of Troy and the subsequent Battle of Troy; Gods and Goddesses are revealed such as Athena, the Greek goddess of Wisdom, who by Greek mythology was born of Zeus’ forehead and who supposedly whispered into the ears of Greek soldiers before going into battle. Achilles, however, was the central hero warrior of the Greek army.

    There are speculative legends suggesting Achilles was a superior warrior because as an infant his mother Thetis held him by the heel and dipped him into the sacred river Styx, thus giving him the advantage of all warriors in Greek mythology and Homer’s Iliad as being invulnerable. His heel, remaining out of the water, is what led to the mythological death of this hero warrior, as he was shot by an enemy’s poisonous arrow through the heel, and, subsequently died from this wound.

    This perhaps is where we must begin, with Homer, and his greatest achievement of literature. We do have other Classical great poets. Poets from around the world have spoken their tales and written or had scribed beautiful, rhythmical, and meaningful verse into poetic prose, songs, lyrical and free verse along with many other forms and styles. There does remain not just one culture or people responsible for Classical poetry, for the world and the age of antiquity are as of the grains of sand upon the immortal shoreline of the written word.

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