Evolution of Poetry

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

The above-mentioned lines are from a beautiful poem written by Robert Frost. Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language. Poetry as an art form predates written text. The earliest poetries can be seen in the form of epic poetry which was passed down from one generation to another orally. The earliest known poetry dates to 2000 B.C- “Epic of Gilgamesh”. as an epic in the Sumerian traditions. The ancient Greek and Romans also created many great epic poetries around 1200 B.C. and A.D. 455, Homers Iliad and Odyssey being two of the most famous ones. The Indian Vedic texts also have a poetic quality to them, in Africa poetry is seen from the prehistoric times with hunting poetry, panegyric and elegiac court poetry.

The written form of poetry started much later. One the earliest written verses is seen on Pyramids written during the 25th century B.C. It is during Renaissance that poetry started to take different forms as poets got more creative with their work, with verses written in vernacular languages, new structures and meters for poetry came to be. Playwrights like Thomas Marlowe and Shakespeare used poetry in writing plays and called it verse drama. During the Romantic period of poetry (1790-1830) poets stated getting imaginative and changed the strict rules of earlier forms of poetry focusing on nature and individuality.  In the later 19th century poets started writing in free verses without any meter.

Poetry over the years has evolved and taken various forms. It has become a medium through which people express themselves and their ideas and thoughts.