By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an elegy as ‘A song or poem of lamentation, esp. for the dead; a memorial poem’. Death, and memorialising the dead, has long been a feature of poetry.
Here are ten of the best elegies from English poetry, from the Middle Ages to the 1980s. What would you add to our list of the greatest elegiac poems in English? (Shelley’s Adonais, by the way, would have been number 11 on this list if we’d extended it beyond a top ten.)