gnomic poetry

gnomic poetry

      aphoristic verse containing short, memorable statements of traditional wisdom and morality. The Greek word gnomē means “moral aphorism” or “proverb.” Its form may be either imperative, as in the famous command “know thyself,” or indicative, as in the English adage “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” Gnomes are found in the literature of many cultures; among the best known examples are those contained in the biblical book of Proverbs. They are found in early Greek literature, both poetry and prose, from the time of Homer and Hesiod onward. Gnomic poetry is most commonly associated with the 6th-century-BC poets Solon and Simonides and with the elegiac couplets of Theognis and Phocylides. Their aphorisms were collected into anthologies, called gnomologia, and used in instructing the young. One of the best known gnomologia was compiled by Stobaeus in the 5th century AD, and such collections remained popular in the Middle Ages.

      Gnomes appear frequently in Old English epic and lyric poetry. In Beowulf they are often interjected into the narrative, drawing a moral from the hero's actions with such phrases as “Thus a man ought to act.” The main collections of Old English gnomes are to be found in the Exeter Book (q.v.) and the 11th-century Cotton Psalter.

      Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (1733–34) offers a more modern example of the use of couplets of distilled wisdom interspersed through a long poem.

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Gnomic poetry — For the map projection see Gnomonic projection; for the game, see Nomic. Gnomic poetry consists of maxims put into verse to aid the memory. They were known by the Greeks as gnomes, from the Greek word for an opinion . A gnome was defined by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Gnomic — Gnom ic, Gnomical Gnom ic*al, a. [Gr. ?, fr. ?: cf. F. gnomique. See {Gnome} maxim.] Sententious; uttering or containing maxims, or striking detached thoughts; aphoristic. [1913 Webster] A city long famous as the seat of elegiac and gnomic poetry …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gnomic Poets — Gnomic Gnom ic, Gnomical Gnom ic*al, a. [Gr. ?, fr. ?: cf. F. gnomique. See {Gnome} maxim.] Sententious; uttering or containing maxims, or striking detached thoughts; aphoristic. [1913 Webster] A city long famous as the seat of elegiac and gnomic …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gnomic — For the poetic form, see Gnomic Poetry. For the map projection, see Gnomonic projection. In Ancient Greek, a general truth may be expressed in the present, future, or aorist tenses. This usage of these three tenses is called the gnomic (gnomic… …   Wikipedia

  • poetry — poetryless, adj. /poh i tree/, n. 1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. 2. literary work in metrical form; verse. 3. prose with poetic qualities. 4. poetic… …   Universalium

  • gnomic verse —    The term gnomic (meaning “sententious” or “aphoristic”) was originally applied to ancient Greek poets like Solon and Theognis, who wrote short moralistic poems in the sixth century B.C.E. By extension, it has been applied to similar kinds of… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • gnomic —   a. pertaining to or like aphorisms; Grammar, signifying general truth.    ♦ gnomist,   n. writer of gnomic poetry.    ♦ gnomologic, a. aphoristic.    ♦ gnomology, n. gnomic writing; collection of gnomic writings …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • Poetry of the United States — The poetry of the United States arose first during its beginnings as the constitutionally unified thirteen colonies (although before this, a strong oral tradition often likened to poetry existed among Native American societies [Einhorn, Lois J.… …   Wikipedia

  • Poetry —    Has been well defined as the measured language of emotion. Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man s relation to God. Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Hebrew Poetry of the Old Testament —     Hebrew Poetry of the Old Testament     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Hebrew Poetry of the Old Testament     Since the Bible is divinely inspired, and thus becomes the written word of God, many devout souls are averse from handling it as… …   Catholic encyclopedia


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