The Graveyard School of poetry, also known as the Churchyard School, is a collection of poems of the early to mid-eighteenth century written by British poets who are united by their subject matter: humanity's mortality. Many of the poems are elegies, a type of formal poem that is a lament for the dead. Poetry of this movement explores various aspects of death including its physical horror, the bereavement of those left behind, questions about the afterlife, and the impermanence of the human experience.
Among the best known poets of this genre are Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, Robert Blair, and Edward Young.
Thomas Gray's "An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is famously representative of the movement. Published in 1751, it employs iambic pentameter and a succession of quatrains to reflect on the quiet, simple, rural lives of those who lie buried in what scholars believe to be Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire.