Abstract and Keywords
Associated with all stages of life, from the cradle to the grave, American folk poetry can be serious or light-hearted, irreverent, and subversive. The genre includes rhymes, recitations, and inscriptions of many varieties. Scholars have given particular attention to children’s folk poetry; they should examine folk poetry of adulthood in greater depth and pay attention to interrelationships between children’s and adults’ folk poetry. Many studies of American folk poetry are based upon English-language poetics; more poetry of diverse ethnic and linguistic origins should be examined in detail. As in studies of other genres of folklore, it is necessary to consider connections to related expressive forms; game and ritual are among the genres that have an especially close relationship to folk poetry. In various settings, including small groups of friends, large organized groups, public performances, and interaction on the Internet, folk poetry continues to grow and change.
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