Didactic Poetry


Didactic Poetry is instructional poetry. The poet expected the reader to learn skills, science, philosophy, love, crafts, etc. from the didactic verses. Hesiod is considered the first didactic poet. Didactic poetry was usually written in the dactylic hexameters of epic poetry, even when the purpose was humorous. It was not considered its own genre.

The word didactic comes from the Greek verb didaskein "to teach".

Reference: Alessandro Schiesaro "didactic poetry" The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Simon Hornblower and Anthony Spawforth. © Oxford University Press 1949, 1970, 1996, 2005.

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Examples of didactic poetry include Vergil's Georgics, Ovid's Ars Amatoria, Parmenides' On Nature, Aratus' Phenomena, Lucretius' De rerum natura, and Hesiod's Works and Days and Theogony, among others.

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