‘A Georgic… is some part of the science of husbandry put into a pleasing dress, and set off with all the beauties and embellishments of poetry.’ – Joseph Addison, An Essay on Virgil’s Georgics (1697)

Georgic is a genre or mode based on Virgil’s four-part poem The Georgics (c. 29 BC), but which often incorporates elements from other classical sources such as Hesiod and Horace. It usually takes the form of didactic and/or descriptive poetry about labour, especially agricultural labour. However fixing upon a definition is difficult, as georgic is also characterised by its variety and flexibility. Over the centuries there have been urban georgics, leisure georgics, prose georgics, and mock-georgics.

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