Epigram Essay Criticism Newspaper Article On Travel And Tourism
There is, first off, the niggling problem of nomenclature.
Here we have, you might even say, an epitaph for the verse epigram, or at least for its former stature: Whatever it was or might have been to poets of ages past, it was henceforth to be regarded as a trivial pursuit, well and good as a diversion for aspish wags or an exercise for grubby schoolboys, but a genre beneath the station of the serious, questing imagination. In the beginning an epigram an epitaph—literally, an inscription, an elegiac couplet engraved on the base of a Hellenic tomb.
You’d think that such elasticity would prove a resourceful mechanism of survival, but the truth appears to be otherwise.
That this shortest of poetic forms was never as highly specialized as its economies of scale might lead us to believe appears to have been a distinct factor in its eventual demise, and perhaps explains why the epigram was so successfully appropriated by the brute force of prose and the spontaneous generation of badinage.
And so it was that by the Alexandrian era the Greek epigram had passed from its stone age to its golden, no longer confined to graven tombs and votive rites but fully vested in the enterprise of literature.
The restrained formal style of the sepulchral couplet gave way to hard, gemlike flames of lyric feeling, poems intimate in tone, subjective in attitude, and eclectic in theme.