Image credited JerzyGorecki

Loss is a universal human experience. Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one at some point in their lives. When a loved one passes away, it is natural to feel a deep sense of grief. We may feel lost, alone, and empty.

When it comes to expressing our love and grieving, poetry can be a very effective medium. An elegy is a kind of poetry that is composed expressly to lament the loss of a loved one.

In this blog, we’ll talk about elegies, a form of poetic verse that is written to lament the death of a loved one, friend, or specific person.

What is an Elegy?

The term elegy is derived from the Greek word ‘elegos’, meaning “song of mourning.” Hence, an elegy is a kind of mourning written in the form of poetry. It is a poem written in commemoration of a dear one.

Form of an Elegy 

Generally, elegies don’t follow any specific form of meter, rhyme, or structure. However, most elegies are usually quatrains with the rhyme scheme ABAB written in iambic pentameter. Nowadays, most elegies are composed in free verse with little or no regard for rhyme.

Parts of an Elegy

An elegy is a poem of mourning that describes three stages of grief: sorrow, admiration, and solace.

The components of a conventional elegy represent the three phases of loss. The speaker laments and expresses her loss and sorrow in the first section of the poem, praises and admires the idealized dead in the second, and offers consolation and solace in the third. W. H. Auden’s classic “In Memory of W. B. Yeats,” written for the Irish master, features these three parts.

How to Write an Elegy in Easy Steps

  • The first thing you need to do before writing an elegy is to choose a subject. It should be for someone very close to you whom you loved, but he or she is now gone. The greater your emotional connection with the person, the more creatively you can convey your feelings of grief and sorrow.
  • You need to choose a format that best honours the subject of the poem. Depending on your relationship with the subject, decide whether to use an informal or formal approach when choosing a format. Moreover, consider dividing an elegy’s three primary sections—sorrow, admiration, and solace—using stanza breaks.
  • Once you have selected your format in accordance with your preferences and the intent of your poem, it’s time to start writing now.
  • Describe the special qualities of the deceased person. Explain your feelings about losing that person. You may perhaps jot down the terms that best define him or her or recall a particular experience.
  • Give your work to a few people for reading and get their feedback. Get suggestions from people who have known the deceased person as well. Go with the ones that you find useful, and disregard the rest.
  • Creative writing requires revisions—sometimes an infinite number of them. After writing your essay, give it a rest and return to it in a few days. You’ll be able to examine it critically and make the necessary changes in this manner.

Hopefully, you will be able to compose a sincere and moving Elegy following these steps.

Featured image credits to JerzyGorecki from Pixabay

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