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Elegiac Lyric Definition

An Elegiac Lyric is a poem of Greek origin written to express the grief and the sorrow a person experiences after losing a family member, a friend or someone they love. Most of the elegiac poems contain comforting words that help in the healing process and to celebrate the dead. Elegiac poetry follows a pattern of grief, praise then comfort. These poems can be short or even more than a hundred lines long. Sometimes they have a narrative function.

Elegiac can also refer more specifically to poetry, originating with the Greeks, composed in the form of elegiac couplets. Greek lyric poets used this poetic form for a variety of themes usually of a smaller scale than the epic. 

The classical Greek elegy was sung using a flute. The songs covered many themes, not just commemorating the dead. In fact, some laments were performed in parties. As time passed, the elegy was streamlined to show grieve, praise, and console. They evolved into the modern elegiac lyrics. 


A lyric poem that expresses a speaker's feelings of loss, often because of the death of a loved one.

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