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Bucolic Definition

Poetry Definition of Bucolic

BUCOLICS (from the Gr. "pertaining to a herdsman"), a term occasionally used for rural or pastoral poetry. The expression has been traced back in English to the beginning of the 14th century, being used to describe the "Eclogues" of Virgil. The most celebrated collection of bucolics in antiquity is that of Theocritus, of which about thirty, in the Doric dialect, and mainly written in hexameter verse, have been preserved. This was the name, as is believed, originally given by Virgil to his pastoral poems, with the direct object of challenging comparison with the writings of Theocritus. In modern times the term "bucolics" has not often been specifically given by the poets to their pastorals; the main exception being that of Ronsard, who collected his eclogues under the title of "Les Bucoliques." In general practice the word is almost a synonym for pastoral poetry, but has come to bear a slightly more agricultural than shepherd signification, so that the "Georgics" of Virgil has grown to seem almost more "bucolic" than his "Eclogues." (See also Pastoral.)


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Standard Definition

[n] a short descriptive poem of rural or pastoral life
[n] a country person
[adj] used of idealized country life; "a country life of arcadian contentment"; "a pleasant bucolic scene"; "charming in its pastoral setting"; "rustic tranquility"
[adj] relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle; "pastoral seminomadic people"; "pastoral land"; "a pastoral economy"

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Misc. Definitions

\Bu*col"ic\, a. [L. bucolicus, Gr. ?, fr. ? cowherd, herdsman; ? ox + (perh.) ? race horse; cf. Skr. kal to drive: cf. F. bucolique. See {Cow} the animal.] Of or pertaining to the life and occupation of a shepherd; pastoral; rustic.
\Bu*col"ic\, n. [L. Bucolic[^o]n po["e]ma.] A pastoral poem, representing rural affairs, and the life, manners, and occupation of shepherds; as, the Bucolics of Theocritus and Virgil. --Dryden.

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