Lyric poetry
#1
A lyric poem is an exploration of philosophy, thoughts, emotions, ideas... it is not its opposite, the narrative poem. They are by nature short, with minimal detail, rich in imagery and usually with a strong sense of meter and sound (hence 'lyric', meaning to be sung accompanied by a lyre).

We sing along to song lyrics all the time and don't demand backstory or extrapolation, so why do readers seem to need to know every detail in a poem?
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#2
Maybe they don't, but instead feel compelled to point out something in a workshop, and not everyone can proffer crit on technique....
~ I think I just quoted myself - Achebe
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#3
I wonder if it has to do with the status of language in culture, in that (I speculate) at this time language is seen and expected to be rather highly utilitarian, and the worldview of language users is heavily weighted toward the rational and away from the mystical, romantic, or magical -- qualities that I suspect most people experienced more pervasively in earlier eras. And so a poem is expected to adhere to certain rationalist norms rather than to evoke the non-rational overtly.

I could be full of horseshit, too. Big Grin
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#4
(05-15-2016, 09:42 AM)Achebe Wrote:  Maybe they don't, but instead feel compelled to point out something in a workshop, and not everyone can proffer crit on technique....
It's not just on workshops, it's endemic I think.  Maybe it's because critical thinking has taken a back seat to standardised testing in schools.

That's what I'm blaming today anyway.
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#5
(05-15-2016, 09:48 AM)bedeep Wrote:  I wonder if it has to do with the status of language in culture, in that (I speculate) at this time language is seen and expected to be rather highly utilitarian, and the worldview of language users is heavily weighted toward the rational and away from the mystical, romantic, or magical -- qualities that I suspect most people experienced more pervasively in earlier eras. And so a poem is expected to adhere to certain rationalist norms rather than to evoke the non-rational overtly.

I could be full of horseshit, too. Big Grin
Liking your horseshit. It smells like mine.
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#6
here's my problem, i haven't education enough to know lyric poetry. my vision has not been taught to see things more than a nuance, sure i can spot an odd metaphor but sometimes things that slap my face i miss, and vice verse. i have a need to understand the poem, i don't hum or whistle to poetry even lyrical ones, tunes on the other often grab my attention simply because of sound patterns songs like the birdy song, though i'm sure that one wasn't lyrical.
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#7
There should be layers of meaning and shades of metaphor in a narrative poem as well. One is not more poetic than the other - the purpose is different, that's all.
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#8
since knowing you, i have always seen you as a teacher of sorts; i take most, if not all you say about poetry to heart. that said, my age often leads my brain down a wrong turn. i feel i can probably see the meaning of an ambiguous poem better than most. is the lyrical poem a poem that in some ways questions why how or the reason's for doing as we do. that's the only way i can differentiate it from the narrative. i'm not sure that's correct and i'm more than sure i often manage to get their intent reversed.

my take is this. i'm very very good at some things [i won't mention what] and am able to see where, how and why they should be just so. okay one of my things is antiques, i seem to have an internal antiquey thing which tells me what era it is, what it's made of [not as easy as one thinks] where it comes from, and what is worth within a small margin of error , the reason i am was good is because i studied, sometimes 4 or 5 hours a day/night, i dealt with their substance; bought and sold them, even appraised them. collectables was also some thing i was good at.

at times i would see other dealers explaining this or that and know it was a heap of shite coming out of his mouth, in talking to such people i'd often make up dates say the wrong materials it was made of blah blah blah, and some these people would stand there and agree with me. now and again one would say "hang on there mister you got it wrong" and then i would show i did indeed know what i was on about by pointing out the shit he was using in order to con people out of their cash.

to experts non experts can sometimes be infuriating, they should know this or they should see that. lets be honest most of us haven't got more than a clue, some of us wait when we're not sure till someone else gives us a hint. i know it's one of the ways i learn, i try and see how someone else saw what they did. and now i'm ranting Blush
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#9
Leanne, could you post one or two of your faves as examples?
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#10
(05-16-2016, 11:14 AM)ellajam Wrote:  Leanne, could you post one or two of your faves as examples?
That's a tall order Smile

All sonnets, for example, are lyric poems. It's the thought that's important, the emotions or philosophy, not the plot. There IS no plot, even if "things happen". It is more about how we think about the things that happen, or how they affect us, than the things themselves.

Villanelles, rondeaux, rondelets... all lyric poems. Take Dylan Thomas' gorgeous "Do not go gentle into that good night":

Quote:Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Does it matter what they're dying of? Does it matter what words were spoken? Does it matter what his relationship was with his father, and whether or not they had argued last week over dinner? It does not need a description of the setting, or the names of their grandchildren, or why those who had died had been rebellious in death. These are things for the reader to apply to his/her own situation, his/her own experiences. It *should* be different for each reader, it should mean different things, and it really shouldn't be explained or it closes the meaning down to one possible answer only.
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#11
Oh, so just about all the poetry I like is lyric. I've gotten to the point where when readers take things differently than I meant them instead of clarifying the point so that they see it my way, I try to remove whatever distracted them from seeing their own way as correct, less detail instead of more.

That's what's so much fun about interacting with readers, to see all the different ways they can take something.

So, no, I don't think there's a movement in poetry to say one thing only, when experienced poets and readers find a poem that lets them wander within the poem and themselves they appreciate it. Some readers want a definite, closed story, but not all readers do.
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#12
i see the sonnet being lyrical now you mention it. and your explanation of it being relative to many readers in many ways makes my lack of knowledge on the matter that much less. dylan's poem is one of my faves. for me it's sometimes hard to know good ambiguity from bad ambiguity. i don't need all the i's dotted etc but i do need some of them dotted. below we know it's his father, he tells us so, we don't need names i agree, or the cause of death but without that one line the poem for me becomes to ambiguous, with it and the ambiguity within the poem is perfect.

(05-16-2016, 11:34 AM)Leanne Wrote:  
(05-16-2016, 11:14 AM)ellajam Wrote:  Leanne, could you post one or two of your faves as examples?
That's a tall order Smile

All sonnets, for example, are lyric poems.  It's the thought that's important, the emotions or philosophy, not the plot.  There IS no plot, even if "things happen".  It is more about how we think about the things that happen, or how they affect us, than the things themselves.

Villanelles, rondeaux, rondelets... all lyric poems.  Take Dylan Thomas' gorgeous "Do not go gentle into that good night":

Quote:Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Does it matter what they're dying of?  Does it matter what words were spoken?  Does it matter what his relationship was with his father, and whether or not they had argued last week over dinner?  It does not need a description of the setting, or the names of their grandchildren, or why those who had died had been rebellious in death.  These are things for the reader to apply to his/her own situation, his/her own experiences.  It *should* be different for each reader, it should mean different things, and it really shouldn't be explained or it closes the meaning down to one possible answer only.
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