/ek"lawg, -log/, n.
a pastoral poem, often in dialogue form.
[1400-50; late ME eclog < L ecloga < Gk eklogé selection, akin to eklégein to select; see EC-]

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Short, usually pastoral, poem in the form of a dialogue or soliloquy (see pastoral).

The eclogue as a pastoral form first appeared in the idylls of Theocritus, was adopted by Virgil, and was revived in the Renaissance by Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, a series of 12 eclogues, was the first outstanding pastoral poem in English. Eighteenth-century English poets used the eclogue for ironic verse on nonpastoral subjects. Since then a distinction has been made between eclogue and pastoral, with eclogue referring only to the dialogue or soliloquy form.

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▪ poetic form
      a short pastoral (pastoral literature) poem, usually in dialogue, on the subject of rural life and the society of shepherds, depicting rural life as free from the complexity and corruption of more civilized life. The eclogue first appeared in the Idylls of the Greek poet Theocritus (c. 310–250 BC), generally recognized as the inventor of pastoral poetry. The Roman poet Virgil (70–19 BC) adopted the form for his 10 Eclogues, or Bucolics.

      The eclogue, along with other pastoral forms, was revived during the Renaissance by the Italians Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Battista Spagnoli (Mantuanas), whose neo-Latin Eclogues (1498) were read and imitated for more than a century.

      Edmund Spenser's series of 12 eclogues, The Shepheardes Calender (1579), is considered the first outstanding pastoral poem in English. By the 17th century less formal eclogues were written by such poets as Richard Lovelace, Robert Herrick, and Andrew Marvell. Marvell's “Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn” (1681) climaxed the eclogue tradition of combining rural freshness with learned imitation. In the 18th century English poets began to use the eclogue for ironic verse on nonpastoral subjects, such as Jonathan Swift's “A Town Eclogue. 1710. Scene, The Royal Exchange.”

      The poets of the Romantic period rebelled against the artificiality of the older pastoral, and the eclogue fell from favour. The form has occasionally been revived for special purposes by modern poets, as in Louis MacNeice's ironic eclogues in his Collected Poems, 1925–1948 (1949). See also idyll.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • eclogue — short poem, especially a pastoral dialogue, mid 15c., from L. ecloga selection, short poem, eclogue, from Gk. ekloge selection, from eklegein to select (see ECLECTIC (Cf. eclectic)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Eclogue — Ec logue, n. [L. ecloga, Gr. ? a selection, choice extracts, fr. ? to pick out, choose out; ek out + ? to gather, choose: cf. F. [ e]gloque, [ e]cloque. See {Ex }, and {Legend}.] A pastoral poem, in which shepherds are introduced conversing with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • éclogue — ÉCLOGUE. Voy. Églogue …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • eclogue — ► NOUN ▪ a short pastoral poem, especially one in the form of a dialogue. ORIGIN Greek eklog selection …   English terms dictionary

  • eclogue — [ek′lôg΄] n. [ME eclog < L ecloga, a short poem (esp. one of the Eclogae, bucolic poems of Virgil) < Gr eklogē, selection, esp. of poems < eklegein: see ECLECTIC] a short, usually pastoral, poem, often in the form of a dialogue between… …   English World dictionary

  • Eclogue — An eclogue is a poem in a classical style on a pastoral subject. Poems in the genre are sometimes also called bucolics. The etymology of the word is a Romanization of the Greek eklogē ( polytonic|ἐκλογή ), meaning draft, choice, selection… …   Wikipedia

  • eclogue — ecloga ит. [экло/га] eclogue фр. [экло/г] eclogue англ. [эклог] эклога, пастушеская песня; то же, что egloga, eglogue …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • Eclogue of Theodulus — The Eclogue of Theodulus was a Latin verse dialogue, which became a standard school text of the Middle Ages. Scholarship generally dates it to the tenth century, though earlier dates are also given.References*Ronald E. Pepin, An English… …   Wikipedia

  • eclogue — noun Etymology: Middle English eclog, from Latin Eclogae, title of Virgil s pastorals, literally, selections, plural of ecloga, from Greek eklogē, from eklegein to select Date: 15th century a poem in which shepherds converse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ÉCLOGUE — s. f. Voyez ÉGLOGUE …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

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