What Is Pastoral Poetry?

Pastoral poetry is poetry that describes rural, or simple life. This type of poetry symbolizes shepherds and their naturally simplistic lifestyles.

Pastoral poetry centers around the natural world and it was most prominent until the Industrial Revolution hit Europe. Though the poetry's popularity began to fade in the 18th century, it continues to make romantic light of life in rural areas. One example of pastoral poetry is "The Passionate Shepard to His Love." This poem was written by Christopher Marlowe in the 1500s. Other pastoral poems include "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepard" by Sir Walter Ralegh and "Country Summer" by Leonie Adams.