occasional verse

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Poetry written for or prompted by a special occasion, e.g. a wedding, funeral, anniversary, birth, military or sporting victory, or scientific achievement. Poetic forms especially associated with occasional verse are the epithalamion, the elegy, and the ode. Occasional verse may be serious, like Andrew Marvell's ‘An Horation Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland’ (1650) and Walt Whitman's ‘Passage to India’ (1871), or light, like William Cowper's ‘On the Death of Mrs Throckmorton's Bullfinch’ (1789). Significant modern examples of occasional verse in English are W. B. Yeats's ‘Easter, 1916’, and W. H. Auden's ‘September 1, 1939’, ‘August 1968’, and ‘Moon Landing’.

Subjects: Literature.

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