noun \ˈek-ˌlg, -ˌläg\

Definition of ECLOGUE

:  a poem in which shepherds converse

Origin of ECLOGUE

Middle English eclog, from Latin Eclogae, title of Virgil's pastorals, literally, selections, plural of ecloga, from Greek eklogē, from eklegein to select
First Known Use: 15th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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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