Anacreontic Poetry

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Anacreontic Poetry


light and cheerful lyric poetry, widespread in European literature of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. The late Greek collection of poems The Anacreontics, written in imitation of Anacreon and mistakenly attributed to him, served as a model for Anacreontic poetry. Its basic themes were earthly joy, wine, love, and occasionally political freethinking. In Russia, Anacreontic verse was written by M. V. Lomonosov, G. R. Derzhavin, K. N. Batiushkov, A. S. Pushkin, and others and in France by the poets of the Pléiade and by A. Chénier, Voltaire, E. D. Parny, and P. J. Béranger.

EDITIONSCarmina anacreontea. Edited by C. Preisendanz. Leipzig, 1912.


Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 1. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii et al. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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As Marshall Brown observes, "the history of Anacreontic poetry is a rich and varied chapter in the biography of European civilization" but one that, "in Pierre Bourdieu's phrase," has been "'written out of literary history.'"(6) Anacreontic verse was "written out" of history after the majority of the odes formerly attributed to Anacreon were reattributed to later, inferior Greek writers.
(51) Yet along with Holmes, other writers testify to the Anacreontic tradition informing the Dionysian Romanticism that Warner describes, contrary to Roth's comment that "almost no anacreontic poetry was produced in the United States" (p.
This practice encouraged readers to associate the two poets and therefore to interpret Sappho's love poetry as similar in style to the playful erotic conventions of Anacreontic poetry. Despite the intensity of passion expressed in Sappho's verses, she was thus often interpreted through an Anacreontic lens as a cheerful poet of pleasure and love (Zeman 88).