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Edward Hirsch Writing Styles in Omen

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Elegy

"Omen" is an elegy, a type of poem that began in ancient Greece and Rome, where it signified a specific "meter," or a systematic rhythm in verse. At this time, an elegy could be about any subject, but it needed to have alternate lines of six and five three-syllable units. Some elegies were laments and some were love poems. In modern languages, such as German, an elegy continues to mean the meter of a poem as opposed to its specific content. Since the sixteenth century, elegies in English have come to signify a poem of lamentation, often expressing sorrow for one who is dead. They can be written in any meter. It is the modern English meaning of elegy that applies to "Omen," which is set in three-line stanzas that are not in the strict elegiac meter.

While modern elegies tend to be sorrowful and nostalgic, the emotions...

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This section contains 430 words
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Poetry for Students
Omen from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.