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(sometimes US), idyl
1. a poem or prose work describing an idealized rural life, pastoral scenes, etc.
2. any simple narrative or descriptive piece in poetry or prose
3. a piece of music with a calm or pastoral character



one of the main literary forms of bucolic poetry. The term “idyll” was first applied in the scholia to the short poems of the ancient Greek poet Theocritus, which were written primarily in hexameter and in different literary forms (the mime, epyllion, and lyric monologue). The poems are linked by an interest in the daily life of simple people, in personal feelings, and in nature, and the images are presented with a deliberate lack of artifice and a marked nonsocial context. Vergil followed Theocritus’ lead.

In modern European literature the term “idyll” is broadly applied to all bucolic poetry, including the idyll proper, all varieties of pastoral poetry, and works with idyllic strains and motifs. In the narrow sense of the word, an idyll is a form of the lyric and the epic—a short poem depicting a tranquil existence in harmony with nature, which focuses on the poet’s or hero’s inner feelings (the idyll proper). It became a favorite genre of such sentimentalists as I. H. Voss, F. Miiller, and Jean Paul (Germany) and S. Gessner (Switzerland). Examples of the idyll in Russian literature are found in the works of A. A. Del’vig, N. I. Gnedich, and V. I. Panaev.


Panaev, V. I. Idillii. St. Petersburg, 1820.
Feokril, Moskh, i Bion: Idillii i epigrammy. Translation, commentary, and afterword by M. E. Grabar’-Passek. Moscow, 1958.


References in periodicals archive ?
However, Vergil alters Corydon's love object from a rustic girl to an urban boy, thereby creating a rustic homosexual komos and consequently deviating from Idylls 3 and 11; this specific alteration can also be considered as blending elements which are found in earlier literary tradition, either Theocritean or post-Theocritean, where rustic heterosexual komos (Idyll 3 and 11) (19), urban homosexual komos (Idyll 7.
significance of the illustrated Idylls of the King suggesting
It most closely fits a variation we'll call an "urban idyll," a term that will require some unpacking.
6) But the matter with which the mature poet is dealing in the Idylls makes the deployment of such an exclusively Anglo-Saxon vocabulary less usual and more--to use a term that will become ironic later in this essay--pregnant.
Tennyson handles this blade carefully and, throughout the composition and expansion of the Idylls of the King, maneuvers the myth in such a way as to construct a past in which England, not Rome, reigned as the beacon of divine guidance and moral superiority.
Indeed, it was the younger composer who was to use the melody of the central Idyll for the subject of his magnificent Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge of 1937 and, like the Walton, a prizewinner at the ISCMF.
Tennyson's Idylls of the king, compared more or less explicitly to an epic (2) in reviews from the period, is an example of the poem retelling the stories of King Arthur and his knights.
Conservatives and anti-Semites imagined Puvis's public idylls, especially those referring to antiquity, as representations of an ideal French past marked by racial homogeneity and securely grounded in Latin culture.
A delightfully dramatic though sometimes understated last Idylls underlined the fact these pieces deserve to be played much more often.
In a recent book, Joan Burton has demonstrated a different approach for reading Theocritus' Idylls 2, 14, and 15, an approach that uses modes of analysis other than just irony to achieve a more productive reading of these poems.
Shawn made some powerful enemies, including Agnes de Mille and Martha Graham (both of whom spent summer idylls on his hospitality at the Pillow), who both said and wrote a great deal to damage the pioneer's reputation.
The novel follows the lovers from their childhood idylls through impassioned estrangements and reunions to a tenderly shared old age.