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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(6) Here I will focus on Idyls of Battle, written soon after her experience as a public performer of the merits of sign language and published under the well-known pseudonym Howard Glyndon, although with the name "Laura C.
(5) In another of Stoddard's South-Sea Idyls, his narrator is lamenting the decimation of South Seas native life as an effect of Melville's storytelling.
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.
The most influential was South-Sea Idyls (1873, English ed.
Idyls, so his Georgics also had a classical Greek precedent: Hesiod's Works and Days.
Her first book, published in 1864, was a collection of war poems called Idyls of Battle and Poems of the Rebellion.
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).
Another poem from the Dramatic Idyls series forms the subject of Evgenia Sifaki's "Masculinity, Heroism, and the Empire: Robert Browning's 'Clive' and Other Victorian Re-Constructions of the Story of Robert Clive" (VLC 37, no.1 [2009]: 141-156).
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).
"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.