The Parnassus (1511) by Raphael: famous poets recite alongside the nine Muses atop Mount Parnassus.
John Keats
Archibald MacLeish
Robinson Jeffers
Marianne Moore
Attic red-figure kathalos painting of Sappho from c. 470 BCE
Homer: Roman bust, based on Greek original
Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is mainly in anapestic tetrameter.
Alexander Pushkin
The Old English epic poem Beowulf is in alliterative verse.
Divine Comedy: Dante and Beatrice see God as a point of light.
Blok's Russian poem, "Noch, ulitsa, fonar, apteka" ("Night, street, lamp, drugstore"), on a wall in Leiden
Statue of runic singer Petri Shemeikka at Kolmikulmanpuisto Park in Sortavala, Karelia
William Shakespeare
Carol Ann Duffy
Du Fu, "On Visiting the Temple of Laozi"
W. H. Auden
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro
Christine de Pizan (left)
John Wilmot
Thomas Gray
Lewis Carroll
The oldest known love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet #2461 from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul
The philosopher Confucius was influential in the developed approach to poetry and ancient music theory.
An early Chinese poetics, the Kǒngzǐ Shīlùn (孔子詩論), discussing the Shijing (Classic of Poetry)

Form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, a prosaic ostensible meaning.

- Poetry

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Form of written or spoken language that typically exhibits a natural flow of speech and grammatical structure.

A conversation in American Sign Language

It differs from most traditional poetry, where the form has a regular structure, consisting of verse based on metre and rhyme.


In philosophy, poiesis (from ) is "the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before."

The School of Athens (1509–1511) by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers in an idealized setting inspired by ancient Greek architecture.

It is related to the word poetry, which shares the same root.


Repetition of similar sounds in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words.

A simplified procedure for determining whether two sounds represent the same or different phonemes

Most often, this kind of perfect rhyming is consciously used for a musical or aesthetic effect in the final position of lines within poems or songs.


Specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on radio or television.

Depiction of a scene from Shakespeare's play Richard III
Relief of a seated poet (Menander) with masks of New Comedy, 1st century BC – early 1st century AD, Princeton University Art Museum
An ivory statuette of a Roman actor of tragedy, 1st century CE.
Stage drawing from a 15th-century vernacular morality play The Castle of Perseverance (as found in the Macro Manuscript).
Colley Cibber as the extravagant and affected Lord Foppington, "brutal, evil, and smart", in Vanbrugh's The Relapse (1696).
A scene from the drama Macbeth by Kalidasa Kalakendram in Kollam city, India
Performer playing Sugriva in the Koodiyattam form of Sanskrit theatre.
A 1958 U.S.S.R. postage stamp commemorating Guan Hanqing, one of the great Chinese dramatists, who is renowned for his "zaju" plays.

Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics (c.

Verse (poetry)


In the countable sense, a verse is formally a single metrical line in a poetic composition.


The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) is a canonical piece of children's literature and one of the best-selling books ever published.
A traditional Kyrgyz manaschi performing part of the Epic of Manas at a yurt camp in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Limestone Kish tablet from Sumer with pictographic writing; may be the earliest known writing, 3500 BC. Ashmolean Museum
Egyptian hieroglyphs with cartouches for the name "Ramesses II", from the Luxor Temple, New Kingdom
The intricate frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra from Tang dynasty China, the world's earliest dated printed book, AD 868 (British Library)
Dante, Homer and Virgil in Raphael's Parnassus fresco (1511), key figures in the Western canon
A calligram by Guillaume Apollinaire. These are a type of poem in which the written words are arranged in such a way to produce a visual image.
Sculpture in Berlin depicting a stack of books on which are inscribed the names of great German writers.
Cover of a 1921 libretto for Giordano's opera Andrea Chénier
The Library of the Palais Bourbon in Paris
Soviet poet Anna Akhmatova (1922), whose works were condemned and censored by the Stalinist authorities

Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry.

Metre (poetry)


In poetry, metre (Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling; see spelling differences) is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse.


Resemblance in the sounds of words/syllables either between their vowels or between their consonants (e.g., keep, cape).

A diagram illustrating vowel harmony in Finnish.

Vocalic assonance is an important element in verse.


Any form or type of communication in any mode with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time.

A genre painting (Peasant Dance, c. 1568, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder)

For Aristotle, poetry (odes, epics, etc.), prose, and performance each had specific design features that supported appropriate content of each genre.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic.

Goethe in 1828, by Joseph Karl Stieler
Goethe's birthplace in Frankfurt (Großer Hirschgraben)
Anna Katharina (Käthchen) Schönkopf
Goethe in c. 1775
Goethe, age 38, painted by Angelica Kauffman 1787
A Goethe watercolour depicting a liberty pole at the border to the short-lived Republic of Mainz, created under influence of the French Revolution and destroyed in the Siege of Mainz in which Goethe participated
Goethe, by Luise Seidler (Weimar 1811)
Ulrike von Levetzow
Goethe and Ulrike, sculpture by Heinrich Drake in Marienbad
Coffins of Goethe and Schiller, Weimar vault
First edition of The Sorrows of Young Werther
1876 'Faust' by Goethe, decorated by Rudolf Seitz, large German edition 51x38cm
Goethe–Schiller Monument, Weimar (1857)
Goethe in the Roman Campagna (1786) by Tischbein
Goethe in 1810. Gerhard von Kügelgen
Light spectrum, from Theory of Colours. Goethe observed that with a prism, colour arises at light-dark edges, and the spectrum occurs where these coloured edges overlap.
Goethe on a 1999 German stamp
Portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by Ferdinand Jagemann, 1806
Statue dedicated to Goethe in Chicago's Lincoln Park (1913)
Second Goetheanum
Mendelssohn plays to Goethe, 1830: painting by Moritz Oppenheim, 1864
Goethe memorial in front of the Alte Handelsbörse, Leipzig
Schiller, Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Goethe in Jena, c. 1797

His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism as well as treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour.