What is Lyric? Understanding Lyric and Reflective Poetry

Published: 02nd December 2008
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There is a thin differentiating line between reflective and lyrical poetry. It is quite amusing indeed to have a contemplative study of such kind of poetry. The whole attempts of this article are focused on this very aspect of peeping in to poetry.



The poetry that we call lyrics, are basically short and simple. They are nothing but direct expressions of the poet's thoughts, emotions and sentiments. In earlier times, in the time of ancient Greece, the lyrics were sung to the accompaniment of a musical instrument known as "lyre". Today, lyrical songs are usually sung to the tune of the guitar.



But there are lyrical poems you may find inapt for singing. Poems just like Pope's Essay on Man and Wordsworth's Prelude, are such a long in length that you can not consider them lyrics. They are much thoughtful. That is why, a lyric takes account of feeling rather than thought!



This beautiful poem of Wordsworth's the Rainbow describes the beautiful reflection on nature. This poem is lyrical in true sense of the term which conveys the emotions of joy. Suppose the poet had wished to describe the effects of nature on Man, it would have been reflective poetry and not lyrical.



So you can lightly make a distinction between the two. Lyric is a sort poetry conveying feelings and emotions; on the other hand reflective poetry is long and quite thoughtful. Although the subject matter of lyrical poem is love, there are also the sadder topics like hatred, fear and death which are dealt with.



The lyrical temper is almost universally admired in recent times. The Japanese verse known as haiku is also a lyric. Notable lyrics have been composed by the poets like e. e. cummings, Robert Frost, Eliot, W. B. Yeats and Dylan Thomas.

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