Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lyric poetry

The kind of poems that manifest musical properties, but are intended to be read or spoken, not sung. They are by and large brief, rarely exceeding a page or two, and have about them a degree of emotional intensity that accounts for their having been written at all. At their best, they represent the shadowy, often ephemeral motions of thought and feeling, and do so in ways that are clear and comprehensible. They not only fix in language what is most elusive about our experience, they convince us of its importance, even its truth. Of all literary genres the lyric is least changeable. Its themes are rooted in the continuity of human subjectivity and from antiquity have assumed a connection between privacy and universality. If this were not true, there would be no point in reading poems from the past. They speak to us with the immediacy that time has not diminished and gauge our humanness as accurately and as passionately as any poem written today. . .but I feel that I've somehow told a lie. Poetry never seems, at least to me, so clear-cut. Not that what I said was wrong—it was just too narrow. - Mark Strand


  1. Lyric poems are primitive paintings. Basic illustrations on a cave wall. That is only the surface. Don't forget you have entered a mountain.

  2. Beautiful post and beautiful first comment. A million thanks!

  3. now when people ask me about my music i can say it's lyrical poetry! i don't know if this will work but try West of the Pecos

    - Mike