- Not to be confused with eulogy.
The Greek term elegeia (ἐλεγεία) originally referred to any verse written in elegiac couplets and covering a wide range of subject matter, including epitaphs for tombs. The Latin elegy of ancient Roman literature was most often erotic or mythological in nature. Because of its structural potential for rhetorical effects, the elegiac couplet was also used by both Greek and Roman poets for witty, humorous, and satiric subject matter.
Other than epitaphs, examples of ancient elegy as a poem of mourning include Catullus' Carmen 101, on his dead brother, and elegies by Propertius on his dead mistress Cynthia and a matriarch of the prominent Cornelian family. Ovid wrote elegies bemoaning his exile, which he likened to a death. A notable example that established the genre in English literature is Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1750).
"Elegy" (sometimes spelled elégie) may denote a type of musical work, usually of a sad or somber nature.
- Elegy to the Spanish Republic, Robert Motherwell
- ElegÃa, William Adolphe Bouguereau
- Sommerelegi (Summer Elegy), Poul Anker Bech
- Elegy for a Dead Admiral, Jack Vettriano
- Elegy is a 2008 film by Spanish director Isabel Coixet, based on a Phillip Roth novel, The Dying Animal.
- Elegy (Hungarian: ElÃ©gia) is a 1965 film by Hungarian director ZoltÃ¡n HuszÃ¡rik.
- "Elegy" is an episode of The Twilight Zone (the original series).
- "Elegy for a Pig" is a third season episode of the TV series Adam-12.
- "Elegy for Fallen Wellies" is an episode from series 21 of Last of the Summer Wine.
- "Elegy for a Hangman" is an episode from the television series Bonanza.
- "Elegy" is an episode on "The X-Files" where apparitions appear to people as they are being murdered.
- Casey, Brian (2007). "Genres and Styles," in Funeral Music Genres: With a Stylistic/Topical Lexicon and Transcriptions for a Variety of Instrumental Ensembles. University Press, Inc..
- Cavitch, Max (2007). American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 081664893X.
- Ramazani, Jahan (1994). Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226703401.
- Sacks, Peter (1987). The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801834716.
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