Epigram is a form of poetry which is presented to show terse, pointed and witty observation.
Epigrams were in vogue in ancient times also which were in the forms of inscriptions on statues or stones.
The term “epigram” became popular after 18th century for the witty statements.
Some Latin poets like Juneval, Martial, developed this form and used it as a short satire in verse. In French, Voltaire wrote fine epigrams.
As for the English literature, the poets such as Ben Jonson, John Donne, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, and Jonathan Swift were often considered as the masters of epigrams.
Oscar Wilde was one of the famous epigrammatists. Most of the short poems of Walter Savage were fine examples of non-satirical epigrams.
S. T. Coleridge used this form in the 19th century. One of his epigrams shows that Romanticism did not preclude wit:
“On a Volunteer Singer
Swans sing before they die – ’twere no bad thing
Should certain people die before they sing!”