Meaning of Bucolic


Life in the country has many peculiarities. It is easy to distinguish between the way of life of peasants or shepherds and those who reside in a city. The natural environment, working with the land and working with animals are part of a country environment.

When the way of life that is lived in a field is exalted, it is spoken of bucolismo. The adjective bucolic, which derives from the Latin bucolicus although it has origins in the Greek language, refers to this exaltation and to the literary genre that narrates situations typical of becoming in rural areas.

For example: “When he retired, Don Manuel moved to the countryside and began to lead a bucolic life, away from noise and stress”, “In 1911, the British writer presented a bucolic book focused on the story of two anarchist shepherds”, “I can spend hours and hours before a bucolic landscape.

According to DigoPaul, the bucolic, therefore, can be a developed theme in art, whether in poetry, dramaturgy or the plastic arts. These works share the fact that they take place in a country or rustic setting.

The main characteristic of bucolic art is the presentation of the peace typical of the country regions as something dreamed or ideal. This tranquility is associated with purity and the absence of vices characteristic of cities. The bucolic texts, in this way, exhibit a skewed vision of pastoral life, generally leaving aside the problems and difficulties of this way of living.

Bucolic poetry

The bucolic genre in poetry, which is also called pastoral, is characterized by the presence of shepherds in wild landscapes, enjoying nature and doing activities such as carefree singing, playing the flute and enjoying their love affairs. Its origin dates from the Alexandrian period and works by three Greek poets are preserved: Theocritus, Bion and Mosco. The first of them was the author of a series of small descriptive poems grouped under the title of ” Idylls “, which brings together many of the fundamental elements of Greek pastoral poetry.

Not much time later, the bucolic genre of poetry arrived in Rome and one of the most representative authors of entoces was Aulus Gellius, who knew how to mix with particular expertise elements of the pastoral with the elegy, which can be seen in his work ” Attic nights “.

According to certain scholars, the birth of bucolic poetry was the result of the need of some writers to get closer to the harmony that nature emanates, to feel the freedom that life offers us away from the typical structures and problems of the city. The great contrast between both scenarios turned nature into an impossible muse to resist and gave rise to a genre that tried to reflect the deepest aspects of the day-to-day life in the field, of the wishes and customs of the shepherds, with the licenses typical of poetry.

The poets wanted to give life to a poetic space that transmitted the peace and tranquility that were not found in the city and that they did consider possible to experience in the countryside. The vision that many captured of country life is very close to a utopia: it lacked problems and allowed us to savor every second, every sunset, every sunrise.

The bucolic genre lived its heyday after the appearance of ” Las Bucólicas ” by the Roman poet Virgilio, a work that is also known by the title ” Las Églogas “. However, until that moment there were several writers who ventured to include pastoral motifs in their creations. One of the topics covered in the ten poems that make up ” Las Bucólicas ” is the confiscation of land that took place during the second half of the 1st century BC.