As well as referring to a mourning or pensive mood, 'Elegiac' can refer to a classical metre, this being a couplet of one dactylic hexameter followed by a dactylic pentameter, and in this case need not carry any sense of sadness. But this is rare in contemporary usage.
In music the term elegy is frequently applied to a mournful composition. A clear distinction exists between poetry as pure art form and most so-called didactic poetry, which at its extreme is merely material that has been versified as an aid to memory (such as, "Thirty days hath September") or to make the learning process more pleasant.
The best-known elegy in English is Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751), by the English poet Thomas Gray, which treats not just a single death but the human condition as well.
A distinct category of elegy, the pastoral elegy, has its roots in Greek and Sicilian poetry of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. Using formal conventions, which developed gradually over centuries, pastoral elegists mourn a subject by representing the mourner and the subject as shepherds in a pastoral setting. The most famous example of the pastoral elegy is Lycidas (1638), by the English poet John Milton.
The elements of a traditional elegy mirror three stages of loss. First, there is a lament, where the speaker expresses grief and sorrow, then praise and admiration of the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace.
Elegy is one of oldest Greek poetic genres. It is at least as ancient as hexameter poetry and inscriptional epigram, and is closely related to both in meter and language. Yet from its earliest manifestations onward elegy is far more difficult to define as a genre.
Elegy is a form of poetry natural to the reflective mind. It may treat of any subject, but it must treat of no subject for itself; but always and exclusively with reference to the poet. As he will feel regret for the past or desire for the future, so sorrow and love became the principal themes of the elegy. Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone or absent and future.
The verses of elegy poems should deny the acceptance of the death but it should end by accepting as the will of God. The poet should compare the world with or without the deceased person. At this point, he can fairly depict the importance of the dead person in the world and his/her importance to the family, relatives, friends and to dear ones.
An elegy poem is the poem read or written on the occurrence of someone's death. Elegy poems are written in a sad tone as they are meant for the mournful situations. These poems lament the demise of someone by representing the grief in simple expressions. However, an elegiac poem is composed primarily of artistic literature language including rhymes and repetition. The poem will talk loudly about the imaginations and associations. Sometimes, these poems are meant to express sympathy to the dear ones of the dead person.
Elegy is a poetic form at first used in ancient Greece. It was made to express grief about someone's death or the death of a group of people. That's why almost every elegy even today starts with grief - sorrow for something that even could not be death. It can be something beyond the material world for example but it has to express very deep and sad feelings - feeling of lost or denial or something that is generally depressing or simply hard to be accepted.
An Elegy is a sad and thoughtful poem lamenting the death of a person. An example of this type of poem is Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard."