Literary Group in British Poetry

Topics: Poetry, 2nd millennium, English poetry Pages: 16 (5623 words) Published: March 11, 2013
The history of English poetry stretches from the middle of the 7th century to the present day. Over this period, English poets have written some of the most enduring poems in Western culture, and the language and its poetry have spread around the globe. Consequently, the term English poetry is unavoidably ambiguous. It can mean poetry written in England, or poetry written in the English language. The earliest surviving poetry was likely transmitted orally and then written down in versions that do not now survive; thus, dating the earliest poetry remains difficult and often controversial. The earliest surviving manuscripts date from the 10th century. Poetry written in Latin, Brythonic (a predecessor language of Welsh) and Old Irish survives which may date as early as the 6th century. The earliest surviving poetry written in Anglo-Saxon, the most direct predecessor of modern English, may have been composed as early as the 7th century. With the growth of trade and the British Empire, the English language had been widely used outside England. In the 21st century, only a small percentage of the world's native English speakers live in England, and there is also a vast population of non-native speakers of English who are capable of writing poetry in the language. A number of major national poetries, including the American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and Indian poetry have emerged and developed. Since the establishment of the Irish Republic in 1922, only poets from Northern Ireland are now British. This article focuses on poetry, written in English, by poets from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and Ireland before 1922). However, given the nature of the subject, this guideline has been applied with common sense, and reference is made to poetry in other languages or poets who are not primarily British where appropriate. Contents [hide]

1 The earliest English poetry
2 The Anglo-Norman period and the Later Middle Ages
3 The Renaissance in England
3.1 Early Renaissance poetry
3.2 The Elizabethans
3.2.1 Elizabethan Song
3.2.2 Courtly poetry
3.2.3 Classicism
3.3 Jacobean and Caroline poetry
3.3.1 The Metaphysical poets
3.3.2 The Cavalier poets
4 The Restoration and 18th century
4.1 Satire
4.2 18th century classicism
4.3 Women poets in the 18th century
4.4 The late 18th century
5 The Romantic movement
6 Victorian poetry
6.1 High Victorian poetry
6.2 Pre-Raphaelites, arts and crafts, Aestheticism, and the "Yellow" 1890s 6.3 Comic verse
7 The 20th century
7.1 The first three decades
7.1.1 The Georgian poets and World War I
7.1.2 Modernism
7.2 The Thirties
7.3 The Forties
7.4 The Fifties
7.5 The 1960s and 1970s
8 English poetry now
9 Notes
10 See also
11 References
12 External links
[edit]The earliest English poetry

Main article: Old English poetry

The first page of Beowulf
The earliest known English poem is a hymn on the creation; Bede attributes this to Cædmon (fl. 658–680), who was, according to legend, an illiterate herdsman who produced extemporaneous poetry at a monastery at Whitby.[1] This is generally taken as marking the beginning of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Much of the poetry of the period is difficult to date, or even to arrange chronologically; for example, estimates for the date of the great epic Beowulf range from AD 608 right through to AD 1000, and there has never been anything even approaching a consensus.[2] It is possible to identify certain key moments, however. The Dream of the Rood was written before circa AD 700, when excerpts were carved in runes on the Ruthwell Cross.[3] Some poems on historical events, such as The Battle of Brunanburh (937) and The Battle of Maldon (991), appear to have been composed shortly after the events in question, and can be dated reasonably precisely in consequence. By and large, however, Anglo-Saxon poetry is categorised by the manuscripts in which it survives, rather than its date of composition. The most important manuscripts...
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