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Oral Poetry

Its nature, significance and social context

Oral poetry is a wide subject that ranges from American 'folk-songs', Eskimo lyrics or popular songs, to the heroic poems of Homer and distinct epic composers in Asia and the Pacific. Unlike previous works, this book takes a broad comparative view and considers oral poetry from Africa, Asia and Oceania as well as Europe and America.


Professor Finnegan includes in her argument the results of topical research from all over the world, thus illuminating and suggesting fresh conclusions to many controversies: the nature of 'oral tradition'; possible connections between types of poetry and types of society; the differences between oral and written communication; and the role of poets in non-literate societies.

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