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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 ?
Idyls of Battle opens with a preface that acknowledges the volume's subscribers, a veritable who's who of public "gentlemen" of the time, starting with the "Hon.
Redden's use of the rhetorical trope of apostrophe illustrates a savvy awareness that the public discourse of Idyls of Battle is also a "poetic world-making," to use Warner's phrase, projecting and shaping the public that would hear and overhear her acts of address (82).
The resulting episodic structure is significant not just because it multiplies the model of stranger sociability that Stoddard sees in Whitman and adapts to contexts represented in the travel writing of others but also because it amplifies at a formal level the piecemeal, "fragmented" anthological nature of reading and literary accumulation that define Stoddard's long prose writing in both his collection of stories, South-Sea Idyls, and his novel, For the Pleasure of His Company.
Gardner, Quaker Idyls (1884), which chart some examples of Quakers gradually adopting the more worldly customs of modernizing America; most of her sketches of American Quakers are retrospective, harking back to the antebellum era and in some cases the late eighteenth century.
Swinburne began Tristram--specifically, the "Prelude"--in late December 1869, provoked to composition by having read Tennyson's recently published Idyls installment The Holy Grail (1869).
She went on to write Drift-Weed (1879), Poems for Children (1884), The Cruise of the Mystery (1886), Idyls and Pastorals (1886), and An Island Garden (1894).
After several years of painstaking polishing, during which Vergil added two or three more poems and fitted them into the arrangement of ten idyls, he published the work under the title Bucolica (37).
The Miller's Daughter," the first of Tennyson's English idyls (or a progenitor of the type), offers an alternative to the southern passion of the Greek and Spanish women who precede her and to the violence of the northern ballad sisters who follow.
An earlier--and in this context, one might say a purer--form of the Tennysonian idyll dates from his 1842 volume, later entitled English Idyls, and Other Poems.
Volume 15 of The Complete Works of Robert Browning by Ohio University Press (Athens, 2007) comprises three late and largely unappreciated collections, Dramatic Idyls, Second Series (edited by David Ewbank), Jocoseria and Ferishtah's Fancies (both edited by Allan C.
Tennyson's later domestic idyls also reworked the female poetry of home life by situating domesticity within a frame that created complex perspectives and encouraging readers to associate his "idyls" with classical tradition rather than with predecessors like Hemans and Mary Russell Mitford.