Ballad


Definition of Ballad:
A song or song-like poem that tells a story.



Example of Ballad #1:

From:
A Ballad Of John SilverBy John Masefield

We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull,
And we flew the pretty colours of the cross-bones and the skull;
We'd a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.

Explanation:
This poem is a great example of a ballad because the story-telling element is clear from the beginning and the reader can virtually hear this poem being sung.  Ballads often have the "sea life" as their subject.




Example of Ballad #2:

From:
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (in Seven Parts), By 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

PART I

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?

The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May’st hear the merry din.’

Explanation:
This is one of the most famous examples of the ballad.  This long epic ballad tells the story of a mariner and gains much of its song-like quality from it's rhyme scheme.  This is typical of ballad poems.






ballad poem
Ballad poetry.

Slideshow:    Ballad

Ballad Video



ballad poem


See also:    Epic    Narrative Poetry