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An elegy is a poem which is typically mournful and lamenting (normally used in funerals). Originated by the Greek, the elegy contains three specific elements: lament, praise, and then consolation.
The lament section of the poem details the grief the survivor of the lost feels. The praise section offers praise for the deceased. The consolation section offers closure for the speaker regarding the loss of the loved one they are suffering from.
Elegy poetry from the 18th century (The English Graveyard Poets) includes the following poets and poems:
- Thomas Gray- "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1750)
- Edward Young- "Night Thoughts" (1742)
- Robert Blair- "Grave" (1743)
- Thomas Parnell- "A Night-Piece on Death" (1721)
These poets wrote during the pre-Romantic period and their poetry focused upon death and mortality. Basically, all things which revolved around the graveyard.
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