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1. a composition in verse, usually characterized by concentrated and heightened language in which words are chosen for their sound and suggestive power as well as for their sense, and using such techniques as metre, rhyme, and alliteration
2. a literary composition that is not in verse but exhibits the intensity of imagination and language common to it



a relatively short literary composition in verse, organized according to rules governing the construction of poetic language within a particular rhyme scheme. In distinction to prose, the poem is regular in composition and rhythm and therefore assumes a relatively greater weight of meaning as à whole as well as in each of its elements.

Depending on content and structure, poems are divided into various types and genres, for example, the ode, elegy, and ballad. Poems generally depict a brief but crucial and meaningful event in the life of man or nature and convey a “concentrated inner state” (G. Hegel). In the 19th and 20th centuries, the poem has been perceived primarily as a form of the lyric and contrasted to other verse genres, such as the short story in verse and the narrative poem.


Zhirmunskii, V. M. “Kompozitsiia liricheskikh stikhotvorenii.” In Teoriia stikha. Leningrad, 1975.
Ginzburg, L. O linke, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1974.


References in classic literature ?
The poem of John the Reeve, or Steward, mentioned by Bishop Percy, in the Reliques of English Poetry,* is
Bold thought, untiring imagination, softness and harmony, make a true poem.
He is reported to have been a Conservative in all matters except his opposition to unjust taxation, and he wore the old-fashioned cocked hat and knee-breeches until his death, in 1832, thus becoming the original of Doctor Holmes's poem,'The Last Leaf'.
There was an implication in the poem (I hope not just for the phrase) that he had come back for her sake.
He induced Calvin Thomas, a poor and youthful printer, to publish a small volume of his verses under the title "Tamerlane and Other Poems.
We ought to consider as a proof of what I now advance, that the best lawgivers themselves were those in the middle rank of life, amongst whom was Solon, as is evident from his poems, and Lycurgus, for he was not a king, and Charondas, and indeed most others.
Browning, he guides the reader to his works, or division of work, seriatim, making of each a distinct and special study, and giving a great deal of welcome information about the poems, the circumstances of their composition, and the like, with delightful quotations.
Going through its contents, he drew forth eleven poems which his friend had written.
But as Ossian, if he ever lived, lived in the third century, as it is not probable that his poems were written down at the time, and as the oldest books that we have containing any of his poetry were written in the twelfth century, it is very difficult to be sure that he really made the poems called by his name.
The Hesiodic poems fall into two groups according as they are didactic (technical or gnomic) or genealogical: the first group centres round the "Works and Days", the second round the "Theogony".
The longest and finest of Chaucer's poems of this period, 'Troilus and Criseyde' is based on a work of Boccaccio; here Chaucer details with compelling power the sentiment and tragedy of love, and the psychology of the heroine who had become for the Middle Ages a central figure in the tale of Troy.
If you'll just think over any Poem that contains the two words--such as--"