What Is a Praise Poem?

A praise poem offers admiration or worship of a person or god. The form was popular in the Middle Ages and continues to be a familiar form in various African cultures.

Praise poetry was popular in medieval literature and during the Renaissance period. It often expressed worship of or admiration for heroes, kings, or deities. However, it lost popularity as a form of English literature beginning in the 17th century.

Praise poetry continues to be a familiar literary form in various South African cultures. The genre of praise poetry, called Isibongo from the Zulu culture, offers imagery and storytelling related to a person and the history that surrounds him or her. In this region, praise poetry is considered a high form of literary art.