ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poetry and Myth (Part I)

Updated on May 18, 2012

This hub describes about the relation between poem and myths. It is part I.

Poetry and myth are, generally speaking, blood relations, scions of human imagination, individual or collective, which has ever tended to impose order on the chaos of life around in order to establish a fruitful relationship between man and the things and forces external as well as internal. The great myths of the world are apparently fabulous or even fantastic stories dealing with the union, conflict and interplay of natural and supernatural beings; but a closer view will find some moral, historical or spiritual and psychological core hidden in their bewildering structure. They, in fact, represent the earliest attempt of human communities at an imaginative and emotional apprehension of the forces and mysteries of the universe which were, at every step, impinging upon the life and activities of man.

Mythology or the collective body of such myths, is a cherished heritage of the races or nations in the world and I. A. Richards has rightly stated that a nation without mythology is, in fact, a nation without a soul. As the myths were part of the national culture and played a vital role in education from the earliest childhood till they became familiar and popular as household-words and old proverbs, they were naturally taken up by the poets and carefully cast into the mould of secondary imagination. The classical mythology, for example, the richest and the best cycle in the West, received a powerful impetus from the poetic efforts of Hesiod and Homer, of Pindar and the Greek tragedians before the myths were received by the Romans, who altered and modified them in details, setting the seal of their own genius in the Metamorphoses of Ovid, one of their popular poets and the most fruitful channel through which these Greek myths passed into the Christian countries of Europe and later became a tradition which is living and vital till this day.

The relation between myth and poetry has been permanent, complex and many-sided. The most elementary treatment of these myths is illustrated by numerous efforts to re-tell the old mythical stories simply or elaborately, directly or dramatically. Thus, Victorian poet, Morris, has retold a good many of these stories in his own simple, realistic and at times decorative style, while Landor has brought out the intense dramatic situations embedded in several widely known Greek myths. The second obvious way of using myth is a common device in poetry and prose alike and is based upon the author’s tendency to introduce mythological allusions in order to enrich, decorate ad elevate the style or illustrate and elucidate his meaning and thought. English literature is full of illustrations of this type and one has to open only a page of Spencer or Shakespeare, Milton or Keats for a convincing proof of it. This device, however, is most effective only so long as the myths remain familiar to the audience.

With the advance of scientific civilization, however, mythology has ceased to be a part of popular education and mythological allusions consequently have lost their force and immediacy of appeal. Under such circumstances, therefore, the only course open to the poet is interpretation of the old myths. This has been one of the oldest and most fruitful poetic practices which has conclusively demonstrated the surprising flexibility of myth as a device in poetry.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I had to come back to this one again, my good friend. I voted way up again too. COO!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      OOH,Anupma! HAH-HAH! You did another great job. I voted way up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I truly appreciate this awesome hub.Thanks.

      Ron from

    • archana srivastav profile image

      archana srivastav 

      7 years ago

      From ancient time till today poets use myths in their poetry. It is really very interesting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)