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LITERATURE in English 4
ALCÁNTARA, Eduardo L., BSN 2nd Year N1-St. Dominic
Submitted to: Prof. Victoria Lily Gatchalian, English 4
Article I. Definition of Literature
The word literature is derived from the Latin term litera which means – letter.
Literature, in its broadest sense refers to any written material including advertisements,
newspapers and catalogues. But the term is normally used to describe written works of artistic merit
which have some value through their style or emotional content.
According to Webster, literature is anything that is printed. As long as it is related to the ideas
and feelings of people, whether it is true, or just a product of one’s imagination.

Article II. Types of Literature and meaning

(a) Poetry- is the expression of ideas or a story in a form which has a metre (rhythm)
and sometimes rhyme. Poetry is appreciated for the beauty of the language used as well
as for the ideas or stories that it contains. The earliest poems were epics: long stories of
the heroic deeds of gods or men. The Iliad of Homer is the best known examples of this
type of poem and tells of the siege and fall of Troy.

(b) Prose- uses the spoken language but prose literature has to communicate stories
or ideas clearly and in a form that is enjoyable to read. The best-known prose is the novel,
a story of fictitious characters and events which relate to a real life. It is normally long and
may have a complex plot.The first novels were written by Ancient Greek and Roman
authors and were often humorous. But for a long time poetry was regarded as the proper
medium of expression for serious or noble stories and prose was only used to write about
mundane matters. The novel in its modern came into being in the late 1700s although
satirical books such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel
were written in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century British novels attained
status when authors like Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Brontë sisters and William
Thackeray were writing.

Article III. Types of Poetry and their kinds with meaning

 LYRIC POETRY- A short poem, usually melodies which express or

emotions. Many lyrics are about death of love, other lyrics are emotional
responses to the beauty of elemental force of nature.

 Sonnet- a lyric poem traditionally consists of 14 lines with several alternate

rhyme schemes and normally employs rhymed iambic pentameter.


 English or Shakespearean sonnet – it consists of three quatrains (four-line stanzas)
and a couplet (two lines) usually with rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg. This couplet is usually
a commentary or summary on the ideas enveloped in the preceding twelve lines. It is named
after William Shakespeare.
 Italian or Petrarchan sonnet – named after Patriarch, an Italian poet, it consists of
an octave (eight-line stanza), which states a theme or asks a question; and a sestet (six-line
stanza), which comments on or answers the question. Usually, the rhyme scheme for the
octave is abbaabba, and cdecde for the sestet.

 Melic poetry- it is composed for a single voice usually the poet sung the poems for the
private gatherings of close friends.
 Elegy- a poem expressing grief over the death of a specific person. It is solemn and dignified.
 Song- verses adapted to musical expression.
 Ode- is a formal poem, having a complex stanza pattern and it is addressed to a subject or
idea. Ex. Ode of the West Wind – Percy Bysshe and Ode to Duty by Shella Wordsworth.
 Folksongs (awiting bayan) – these are short poems intended to be sung. The common theme
is love, despair, grief, doubt, joy, hope and sorrow.
 Psalms (dalit) – this is a song praising God or the Virgin Mary and containing a philosophy of
 Corridos (Kuridos) – These have measures of eight syllables (octosyllabic) and recited to a
martial beat.

 NARRATIVE POETRY- Like the lyric poem, narrative poetry may present
an idea, paint a picture, or expresses an emotion, it tells a story with character,
setting and various elements of plots
a.) Ballad - a narrative verse written about popular subjects and intended for
oral representation normally for singing. Ex. Ballad of a Mother’s Heart and
Romeo and Juliet.
b.) Epic - narrative form of considerable length written to celebrate the deals
and adventures of a heroic character.
c.) Metrical Tales or Romance- a narrative poem and considerable length
which treats love, intrigue, and chivalric adventures and romance. Ex. Is
Ibong Adarna.

1. Comedy – (Gk. Word = “Kornos” meaning festivity or revelry). This form is
usually is light and written with the purpose of amusing, and usually has a
happy ending.
2. Melodrama – This is usually used in musical plays with the opera. Today,
this is related to tragedy just as the farce is to comedy. It arouses
immediate and intense emotion and is usually sad but there is a happy
ending for the principal character.
3. Tragedy – This involves the hero struggling mightily against dynamic
forces, he meats death or ruin without success and satisfaction obtained by
the protagonist (leading figure) in a comedy.
4. Farce- This is an exaggerated comedy. It seeks to arouse mirth (laughter)
by laughable lines; situation are too ridiculous to be true; the characters
seem to be caricatures and the motives undignified and absurd.
5. Social Poems – This form is either purely comic or tragic and it pictures
the life of today. It may aim to bring about changes in the social conditions.

Article IV. Types of Prose and their kinds with meaning

1. Biographies - Biographies, factual accounts of the lives of important or interesting people,
have always been a popular form of literature. One of the earliest biographers was a Roman
called Suetonius who wrote the Lives of the Twelve Caesars at the beginning of the 1st century
AD. When a person writes his own biography it is known as autobiography. This form of
writing is especially popular with people who seek to justify their actions.
2. Novel – they’re divided into chapters. The events are taken together from true-to-life stories
and span a long period of time. There are many characters involved.
3. Short Stories- This is a narrative involving one or more characters, one plot and one single
4. Plays – This is presented on a stage, is divided into acts and each act has many scenes.
5. Legends- These are fictitious narratives, usually about origins.
6. Fables- They are also fictitious and they deal with animals and inanimate things who speak
and act like people and their purpose is to enlighten the minds of children to events that can
mold their ways and attitudes.
7. Anecdotes- These are merely products of the writer’s imagination and the main aim is to
bring out lessons to the reader. It can be stories about animals and children.
8. Essay – This expresses the viewpoint or opinions of the writer about a particular problem or
event. Example is the pages of newspaper.
9. News- This is a report of everyday events in society, government, science and industry,
accidents etc. happening nationally or not.
10. Oration- This is a format of treatment of a subject and is intended to be spoken in public. It
appeals to the intellect, to the will or to the emotions of the audience.

Article V. Kinds of Poetry

In the words of William Wordsworth, one of the greatest poets of all time, all good poetry is a
spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
Poetry is a beautiful manifestation of the spontaneous emotions of a poet. A poem is created when
emotions find the right words to express themselves. A poem often begins in an abstract idea that is
developed by the means of concrete words, without letting the idea lose its abstractness! Those of
you with a poetic mind will agree with me on this, I am sure.

Poetry has a long and elaborate history. The earliest forms of poetry were recited and sung.
With the passing years, it obtained a structured form that later evolved into a free verse format.
Poets dealing with different subjects and presenting their ideas in different ways gave rise to various
kinds of poetry. Let us look at the different types of poetry.

Acrostic: In acrostic poems, the first letters of each line of the poem are aligned vertically to form a
word. Generally, the word formed thus, is the subject of the poem.

Ballad: Ballads are narrative poems that are supposed to be sung. The narrator usually starts with a
dramatic scene and relates the narrative with dialog and actions.

Canzone: The word canzone, which means, a song, signifies any simple song-like composition. It is
an Italian song or ballad.

Cinquain: Cinquain poems are five lines long. They do not rhyme.

Concrete: In this kind of poetry, the topographical arrangement of words supports the meaning
conveyed by the poem. The poems form a picture of the topic on which they are centered.

Couplet: It is a very simple form of a verse, which contains two rhyming lines.

Diamante: This type of poetry is one of the simplest ones to write. The first line of a diamante is a
single word; the second line consists of two adjectives describing that word, third line contains three
words about the subject while the fourth line contains four. The fifth line and the lines that follow
consist of a similar pattern of words describing the idea opposite to the subject of the poem. It seems
this kind of poetry writing is simple and interesting. Doesn’t it?
Dramatic Poetry: A drama that is written in the form of verses to be recited or sung refers to the
dramatic genre of poetry. This form of poetry has evolved from Greek and Sanskrit literature.

Epic Poetry: This genre of poetry is a type of narrative literature that narrates stories of
mythological heroes. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the great Indian epics of Mahabharata and
Ramayana are a few of the noteworthy examples of epic poetry.

Free Verse: Free verses refer to the different styles of poetry, wherein the poems do not carry a
specific meter. Free verses are a poet’s expressions, which are free from any rules or restrictions
pertaining to the rhyme schemes of the poem.

Ghazal: This form of poetry is popular in the Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Bengali literature. It is
characterized by five to fifteen couplets that have a refrain at the end of every second line. Each
couplet of a ghazal can stand individually as each represents a distinct thought.

Haiku: It is an unrhymed form of poetry that is native to Japan. It contains three sections that can be
written in a single line, but are written in three lines instead. The way it is broken into, is in essence
the poetic effect of this poetic form. This kind of poetry contains a cutting word, which is known as a
kireji and a season word, known as a kigo.

Iambic Pentameter: It is a relatively complex form of poetry that uses syllables to bring in a
musical element to the poems.

Jintishi: Native to China, Jintishi is a poetic form based on tonal patterns consisting of the four tones
of the classical Chinese language in every couplet. Jintishi is composed of eight lines in four couplets,
wherein two couplets depict contrasting ideas but similar grammatical patterns. Du Fu, a poet of the
8th century was an important name in the world of Jintishi.

Limerick: Limerick is one of the very popular kinds of poetry. A limerick is a funny little poem with a
rhyme scheme of ‘aabba’.

Lyric Poetry: Lyric poetry is of a personal nature, wherein a poet expresses his/her perceptions and
ideas through poetry. Lyric poems deal with subjects like love, peace, loss and grief. T. S. Eliot is one
of the prominent names in lyric poetry.

Minnesang: It refers to the German tradition of writing lyrics and songs. It became widely popular in
the 12th century and continued until the 14th century. The poems belonging to this kind of poetry
revolve around the subject of love.

Narrative Poetry: This is a genre of poetry that involves story-telling and is one of the very old
forms of poetry. The content of these types of poems is intended to appeal the masses. Ovid, William
Langland, Alexander Pope and Shakespeare are some of the notable figures in the field of narrative

Nursery Rhymes: It is one of the most popular types of poetry, especially a favorite of most of the
kids. Nursery rhymes are short poems written for children and are usually handed over from one
generation to another.

Ode: Originally developed by the Greek and Latin poets, Odes soon began to appear in different
cultures across the world. Odes possess a formal poetic diction and deal with a variety of different

Pantoum: It is composed of quatrains, where the second and fourth lines of each verse are repeated
as the first and third lines of the next stanza.

Pastourelle: It refers to an old French lyrical form. The poems in this category have the romance of
a shepherdess as their central idea.

Prose Poetry: This genre of poetry blends prose and poetry. It is very similar to a short story.
However, its concise nature and the use of metaphor in it are sufficient to classify it as a poetical

Rondeau: It consists of fifteen lines, which make use of two rhymes. It was a French form of poetry.

Ruba’i: This form of poetry is written as a four-line verse. It is written by the poets in Arabia and

Satirical Poetry: Sarcasm serves as a very powerful means of expressing criticism. An insult can
most strongly be expressed through poetry. Romans have been using satirical poetry for political

Sestina: In this kind of poetry, there are six stanzas, each consisting of six lines without an element
of rhyme. The words that appear at the end of the lines in the first stanza are repeated in other
stanzas. A concluding stanza of three lines wherein the repeating words reappear in a peculiar way is
an important characteristic of Sestina.

Sijo: It is a musical lyric popular among the Korean poets. It is written in three lines with a pause in
the middle of every line.

Sonnet: Derived from Occitan and Italian words meaning ‘a little song’, Sonnet was originally a
fourteen-line song that was based on a strict rhyme scheme and structure. Shakespeare, who wrote
154 sonnets, was one of the most important figures in the field of sonnets.

Stave: see Stev

Stev: It is a form of lyrical poetry that is prominent in Scandinavia. Stave is the English version of
this kind of poetry.

Tanka: It is an unrhymed kind of poetry that originated in Japan. It came up as a shorter version of
the Japanese formal poetry and the poems of this type were primarily based on personal themes. The
emergence of Tanka dates back to the Nara period. It became popular in the 13th century and is
continues being practiced till today.

Verse Fable: The poems that belong to this genre of poetry consist of stories set into verses. Fables
involving natural elements and inanimate objects carrying a moral or message for the masses are
expressed through verses. Verse fables use different types of rhyming schemes.

Villanelle: The poems of this type consist of nineteen lines made up by five triplets and a concluding
quatrain. This form of poetry has received impetus since the late 19th century, giving rise to poets
like Elizabeth Bishop and Dylan Thomas.

With this, we covered a detailed list of the different kind of poetry as also the various genres of
poetry. Let us now have a glimpse of the different types of poetry categorized on the basis of the
subjects they deal with.

Baby Poems: Babies are the sweetest creations of nature. Buzzle brings you a collection of baby

Poems on Birth and Death: Birth signifies a brand new beginning while death marks the end of
life; the end of everything. See what these poets have to say through their poems about life and their
birth and death poems.

Break Up Poems: Breaking a relationship is always painful. It takes moments to say "hello" but
ages to bid goodbye. Here are some break up experiences some poets have shared through their
break up poems.

Children and Teen Poetry: For you kids and teenagers out there, here are separate sections of
poems just for you all! Go through the children’s poems and teen poetry.
Dark Poetry: Life is beautiful. But the negativities like hatred, loneliness, depression and pain
eclipse life’s beauty. Here are some portraits of dark emotions, which poets from around the world
have sketched through their dark poetry and sad poems.

Dream Poetry: Poets are dreamers. They weave poems from their world of dreams. Go through
some good poems on dreams and fantasy.

Family Poems: Your family means the world to you. Doesn’t it? Go through some family poems by
some budding poets from the different parts of the world.

Funeral Poems: Here is a collection of funeral poems and articles about funeral poetry. Death ends
life, leaving behind memories of the dead. See the poets on Buzzle put across this emotion through
their poems in loving memory.

Funny Poems: Tickle your funny bone by going through the funny poems. Laughs are good for

Goodbye Poems: Take a look at the collection of goodbye poems.

Love Poems: Love is one of the most wonderful feelings. Here are some love poems by poets on
Buzzle. Share their experiences of being in love.

Nature Poems: The beauties of nature have always interested poetic minds. These nature poems
by some budding poets around the world are worth a read.

Poems about Life: Some say that life is a journey while others call it an adventure. Here is what
some poets have to say about life through their poems on life.

Poems for Special Occasions: Here is Buzzle’s collection of some beautiful poems for those
special occasions in life. I am sure you will enjoy reading these birthday poems as well as these
wedding poems. Here is a collection of some poetic expressions on Christmas. Go through Christmas

Poems on War and Peace: Wars personify grief and destruction. Peace is what we yearn for. Listen
to what these poets have to say through their poems on war and peace.

Relationship Poems: Relationships form a crucial aspect of life. It is these relationships that make
life worth living. Here is a collection of some relationship poems. Friendship is one of the most
beautiful relationships in life.Friendship Poems are worth a read! When it comes to relationships, how
can you forget Valentine’s Day poems?

Rite of Passage and Identity Poems: Life is a continuous process of learning. Life is about
learning to live and knowing yourself. Go through these poems on identity and rite of passage.
The discussion about poetry does not end here. Buzzle’s section of poetry and poems is a
must-read. Having a glimpse of poetry just makes us realize that literature hosts a huge collection of
these exquisite kinds of poetry and a legacy of many brilliant poets who enlivened the different
poetic forms. Hats off to all of them!