Using this idea, a poem is a literary work composed by a poet. Poetry has a long and varied history and has developed differently over the world. With African hunting poetry from prehistoric times and panegyric and elegiac court poetry from the empires of the Nile, Niger, and Volta River valleys, it can be traced back to at least prehistoric times. The 25th century BCE Pyramid Texts include some of the earliest African poetry ever written.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest piece of surviving Western Asian epic poetry, was composed in Sumerian. Early poems on the Eurasian continent were derived from religious hymns (the Sanskrit Rigveda, the Zoroastrian Gathas, the Hurrian songs, and the Hebrew Psalms), as well as folk songs like the Chinese Shijing or from the need to repeat oral epics, as in the case of the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe, and the epic poetry of India.
Greek definitions of poetry, including those in Aristotle’s Poetics, emphasized speech’s functions in rhetoric, theater, song, and comedy. Later attempts focused on aesthetic qualities that set poetry apart from more objectively informed prosaic writing, such as repetition, rhyme, and verse form. Poetry employs forms and traditions to imply various readings of words or to elicit emotional reactions.
Rhythm, onomatopoeia, assonance, and other literary devices can all be used to create musical or incantation effects. Uncertainty, symbolism, irony, and other poetic language style devices can leave a poem open to various readings.
Similar to this, figures of speech like metaphor, simile, and metonymy create resonance between seemingly unrelated pictures by layering meanings and creating connections that were not previously noticed. Individual verses may share similar rhyme schemes or rhythmic rhythms, for example.