what is the definition of a poem of lament?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are many different types of poems. And if you move from one culture to another culture, you will find that each culture has its own categories of thoughts, which include different literary genres and types of poetry. So, one must keep this in mind when seeking any definitions. However, within Western culture some of the most famous poems of lament come from the Psalms. The Psalms are part of the Christian and Jewish Bible and they are poetry. Poems of lament within this context are poems that cry out in view of the difficulties of life: suffering unjustly, suffering due to calamities, death, and general brokenness in the world. If we expand this a bit, we can say poems of lament speak of sorrow in view of an imperfect world. From this perspective, we can say these poems are realistic. For some examples, see Psalm 3, 5, 44, 74, 80, 86, 136, to name a few.

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