Poetry genres are a kind of subspecies of poetic creativity, combined into a single class called “Poetry”. Since poetry arose not today, not yesterday, but many centuries ago, during this time it managed not only to decisively succeed in multiplying its genres and styles, but also to work well on the quality and diversity of the language, artistic means and techniques used in its poetry. works.

Genre variety. That is the name of the phenomenon that is observed in modern literature in general and in poetry in particular. A huge number of popular and traditional genres compete with new, young varieties of this art. Some genres of poetry quickly crowd out others, others are mixed with the first, while others develop in parallel from all, not accepting a mixture of styles.

Nevertheless, today we can confidently speak about the existence in our literature of a number of particularly popular and well-known genres of poetry. Among them: lyric poetry, epic poetry, philosophical poetry, children’s, journalistic and humorous. Each of them performs its own functions and plays an important role in the development of literature (both in classical historical periods and at the present time).

Lyric poetry

Lyric poetry aims to reveal the soul of a lyrical hero: his thoughts, impressions, feelings. The narration of events does not belong to the tasks of a lyric poem – it can be plotless. The lyrics also reflect the state of mind of the author, his thoughts, experiences.

Elegy, satire, ballad – these are typical examples of lyrical works. Lyrics also include love poems – the most numerous kind of poetic activity.

Ode – a solemn poem (from the Greek. ode – song). In ancient Greece, odes were composed to glorify the winners of athletic competitions. Later, the ode was transformed into a genre of high lyrics, praising an important person, event or idea.

The ode is characterized by the so-called “eloquent” syllable: church vocabulary, inversion, pomp of epithets, rhetorical appeals and exclamations. The ode became one of the most important poetic genres of the era of classicism (XVIII century).


An elegy is a poem-meditation, mainly of a meditative, philosophical or emotional nature. Most often, elegies are written on behalf of a lyrical hero. Traditional motifs for elegies: disappointment, unrequited or tragic love, loneliness, discord between the ideal and reality, death and the frailty of being. This poetic genre won the greatest popularity in the poetry of sentimentalism and romanticism.


Epigram – (from the Greek. epigramma – inscription), a short (usually no more than four to eight lines) satirical poem. The main task of the epigram is to ridicule or present in a humorous way some person, event, phenomenon. Appearing in antiquity, epigrams originally served as epitaphs on altars and tombstones. The modern epigram developed in France in the 16th-17th centuries and gradually became a means of exposing human vices, and could also be used for political purposes.


Satire is a more detailed poem than an epigram, including in terms of the scale of the depicted. In a satirical poem, the shortcomings of the whole society are usually ridiculed. Hence the civic pathos of satire. Unlike the epigram, satire is characterized by greater indignation and indignation of the author.

Pastoral, or bucolic poetry

Pastoral, idyll, bucolic poetry – (from the French pastorale “shepherd’s, rural”) a genre of poetry depicting simple rural life in a romanticized representation. Initially, the heroes of pastoral poetry were shepherds and shepherds.

One of the tasks of pastorals is to contrast a quiet life in nature with the noise and vanity of large cities. Pastoral poetry is characterized by “pagan” stylization, hedonism, and the use of mythological images. The birthplace of the pastoral is Italy.

Lyric-epic poetry

Lyric-epic poetry is on the border of lyrics and epic. From the lyrics here – subjectivity, emotionality, from the epic – plot.

A ballad is a plot poem based on fantastic, folklore material. A feature of the genre is a gloomy, mysterious, mystical character. The plot of the ballad is built around some unusual event: a crime, a tragedy, the manifestation of otherworldly forces. Ballads combine the features of a story and a song.

The ballads actively use such expressive means as epithets (“bitter fate”, “dead silence”), comparisons (“they rush as if on wings”), as well as archaisms and special melody. This is one of the main poetic genres of sentimentalism and romanticism.

A poem (as well as a novel in verse) is a large or medium-sized work, the main features of which are the plot (as in the epic), evaluativeness and the presence of a lyrical hero (as in the lyrics). In poems of various types – heroic, romantic, satirical and others – these components are combined in different proportions.