Describe lyric poetry: BA English Notes

Lyric Poetry: It is a kind of short poem in which a single speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. It has some singing elements which are originated from Greek writers, the lyric was a song accompanied by the lyre. Some of them could be sung with musical instruments.

The genre of lyric poetry is elegy, ode, sonnet, dramatic monologue and most occasional poetry. Though all are the category lyrical category still they are different from one another in many ways. Some basic differences and their styles are defined below:

Sub-types of lyrical poetry in detail.

Elegy: It is a formal lament for the death of a particular person for example Tennyson’s In Memoriam A.H.H. We can say that the term elegy is also used for solemn meditations often on questions of death, such as Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. In other words, An elegy is a sad poem, generally contacted praise and express sorrow for someone who is dead. Although a speech at a funeral is a eulogy, you might, later on, compose an elegy to someone you have actually loved and also lost to the grave.

An ode: It is a long lyric poem constructed by lyrical stanzas. The poets used to glorify and praise the events and individuals, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally. Famous examples are Wordsworth’s Hymn to Duty or Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale.

Sonnet: It was originally a love poem that dealt with the lover’s sufferings and hopes. The form of the sonnet was originated in Italy later became very popular in England in the Renaissance. Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey were the first who introduced it in England. They translated and imitated the sonnets written by Petrarch (Petrarchan sonnet).

From the 17th century onwards the sonnet was also used for other topics than love, for instance for religious experience (by Donne and Milton), reflections on art (by Keats or Shelley) or even the war experience (by Brooke or Owen). The sonnet uses a single stanza of (usually) fourteen lines and an intricate rhyme pattern (see stanza forms). Many poets wrote a series of sonnets linked by the same theme, so-called sonnet cycles (for instance Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare, Drayton, Barret-Browning, Meredith) which depict the various stages of a love relationship.

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Dramatic monologue: In a dramatic monologue a speaker, who is explicitly someone other than the author, makes a speech to a silent auditor in a specific situation and at a critical moment. Without intending to do so, the speaker reveals aspects of his temperament and character. In Browning’s My Last Duchess, for instance, the Duke shows the picture of his last wife to the emissary from his prospective new wife and reveals his excessive pride in his position and his jealous temperament.

Occasional poetry: It is written for a specific occasion, a wedding (then it is called an epithalamion, for instance, Spenser’s Epithalamion), the return of a king from exile (for instance Dryden’s Annus Mirabilis) or a death (for example Milton’s Lycidas), etc.

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4 thoughts on “Describe lyric poetry: BA English Notes”

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