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lyric

By giftymathew Jun 10, 2014 1749 Words
*ΔLyric: Originally a lyric signified a song sung to the accompaniment of a lyre. Thus lyric still carries the sense of a poem written to be set to music. A lyric is a common short poem uttered by a single speaker who is expressing his state of mind very often in solitude. In dramatic lyric the speaker is represented as addressing another person in a specific situation like the poem Canonization by John Donne. The genre comprehends a great variety of utterances from say the Dramatic Monologues of Browning complex evolution of feeling in the long elegy and the meditative ode. The process of observation, thought, memory and feelings may be organised in a variety of ways in different lyrical expressions. Lyric is a poem in which the poet writes about his thoughts and feelings. The basic type is the song, but we use the term to cover all poems that present the poet’s immediate response to life, including sonnets odes and elegies. Lyric poem deals with a range of experiences such as love, death, nature or religion or some domestic, social or political issue *ΔAbstract Poem: It is a term used by Dame Edith Sitwell for verse that depends chiefly upon its auditory values for its meaning. Such poetry is analogous to abstract painting in which the arrangement of colours and shapes is significant though no physical objects are represented. Words are employed with little regard for their usual connotations, but rather for their aural effectiveness in a pattern of full and approximate rhymes and in the manipulation of rhythm. Sitwell’s own poems in the collection called Facade exemplify the type: These lines from her “Hornpipe” where, we hear, the dumb Sky rhinoceros-glum

Watched the courses of the breakers’ rocking-horses and with Glaucis Lady Venus on the settee of the horsehair sea!
*ΔAmbiguity: In ordinary usage the term ambiguity means a vague or equivocal expression. Since William Empson published his Seven types of Ambiguity (1930) the term has widely been used to refer to a poetic device: the use of a single word or expression to signify two or more distinct references, or to express two or more diverse attitudes or feelings. Multiple meaning and plurisignation are alternative terms for the use of language. Eg: in the play Antony and Cleopatra when Shakespeare makes Cleopatra say “Come thou mortal wretch.. he implies a double edge to the word “mortal.” Here it implies both that the asp is “fatal” or “death-dealing” and at the same time it is itself subject to death. *ΔBallad: The popular ballad also called the folk ballad is the song, transmitted orally which tells a story. Ballads are thus the narrative species of folk songs, which originate and are communicated orally among illiterate or partly literate people. In all probability the original version of a ballad is composed by a single author, but he or she is unknown; and each singer who learns and repeats an oral ballad is apt to introduce changes in both the text and the tune, it exists in many variant forms. Typically the popular ballad is dramatic, condensed and impersonal: the narrator begins with the climax and tells the story tersely by means of action and dialogues, sometimes by means of dialogue alone and tells it without self-reference or the expression of personal attitudes or feelings. The most common stanza form called the ballad stanza- is a quatrain in alternate four and three-stress lines; usually only the second and fourth lines rhyme. Eg: this ballad from “Sir Patrick Spens” The King sits in Dumfurling towne,

Drinking the blude-red wine:
“O what will I get a guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?”
*ΔBlank verse: Consists of unrhymed iambic (ˇˉ) pentameter (five iambic verse) hence the term “blank.” Of all the English metrical forms it is closest to the natural rhythms of English speech and at the same time flexible and adaptive to diverse levels of poetic discourse and hence has been more frequently and widely used than any other type of versification. Shakespeare made wide use of the blank verse in his famous soliloquies. *ΔElegy: It denotes any poem written in elegiac meter (alternating hexameter and pentameter lines). The term was used, however, to refer to the subject matter of change and loss. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the elegies were love poems that related to the sense of elegy as lament in that many of them emphasised mutability and loss. It is in the latter part of the seventeenth century that the term elegy began to be limited to its most common present usage; a formal and sustained lament in verse on the death of a particular person usually ending in consolation. Examples are: W.H Auden’s In Memory of W B Yeats’, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam. The dirge is also a versified expression of grief on the occasion of a particular person’s death but differs from the elegy in that it is short and is less formal and is meant as a text to be sung. An important variant of the elegy is the pastoral elegy which represents both the poet and the one he mourns as shepherds. Milton’s Lycidas is a fine example of pastoral elegy. *ΔFree Verse: It is also called “open form” or by the French term vers libre. Like traditional verse it is printed in short lines instead of with the continuity of prose. However it differs from regular verse in that its rhythmic pattern is not organised into a regular metrical form—that is into feet, or recurrent units of weak and strong stressed syllables. Most free verse also has irregular line lengths, and either lacks rhyme or else is used only sporadically. The King James translation of the Biblical Psalms and Song of Solomon are examples of free verse. The following section from Langston Hughes’ free verse poem “Mother to Son” Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
nd boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
*ΔSonnet: Sonnet is a lyric poem of fourteen iambic pentameter lines linked by an intricate rhyme scheme. The Italian or Petrarchan sonnet falls into two main parts: an octave and a sestet. The octave is of eight lines rhyming abbaabba, this is followed by a setet a six line stanza rhyming cdccdc. The octave presents the theme in the first quatrain and develops it in the second. The sestet dwells on it and brings it to a logical conclusion in the final tercet. The Petrarchan form was later used for a variety of subjects by English poets like Milton, Wordsworth Christina Rosetti and so on. The English experimenters in the sixteenth century also developed a stanza form called the English sonnet or the Shakespearean sonnet after its greatest practitioner. This sonnet falls into three quatrains and a concluding couplet with a rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg. These sonnets usually deal hopes of love and themes like pangs of separation. One notable variant of this form is the Spenserian sonnet in which Spenser linked each quatrain to the next by a continuing rhyme: abab bcbc cdcd ee. The English form often repeats with variation a statement in each of the three quatrains, however in either of the case the final couplet usually imposes a final epigrammatic turn to the whole theme. *ΔEpic: It is a long verse narrative on a serious subject, told in a formal and elevated style, and centred on a heroic or quasi-divine figure on whose actions depend the fate of a whole tribe, a nation or as in John Milton’s Paradise Lost the human race. The epic was ranked by Aristotle as second only to tragedy and by many Renaissance critics as the highest of all genres. Literary epics are highly conventional compositions and usually share the following features. 1.The hero is a figure of great national or even cosmic importance. In Illiad he is the Greek warrior Achillies, who is the son of the sea nymph Thetis and Virgil’s Aeneas is the son of the goddess Aphrodite. 2.The setting of the poem is ample in scale and could be the whole world or even vaster. 3.The actions involve superhuman deeds in battle, such as Achilles’ feats in the Trojan War or the long arduous wanderings of Odysseus on his way back to his homeland. 4.In the great actions Gods and other supernatural beings take an interest and an active part. 5.An epic poem is a ceremonial performance and is narrated in a ceremonial style which is deliberately distanced from the ordinary speech and rendered in a language in keeping with the grandeur of the heroic subject. The epic conventions like beginning with an invocation to the muse to guide the narrator in the great undertaking are also very often observed. The term epic is also applied by extension, to narratives which differ in many aspects from this model but manifest the epic grandeur and spirit in the scale scope and the profound human importance of their subject. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace both serve as examples of what is called epic narration. *ΔOde: A long lyric poem that is serious in subject and treatment elevated in style and elaborate in its stanzaic structure. The prototype of an ode was established by the Greek poet Pindar whose odes were modelled on the songs by the chorus in Greek drama. The complex stanzas of an ode were patterned in sets of three: moving in dance rhythm to the left is chanted the strophe; moving to the right is chanted the antistrophe then standing still at the centre is the epode. The regular Pindaric ode in English is written in the Pindaric form with the strophe and antistrophe written in one stanza pattern and all the epodes in a different stanza pattern. The Pindaric odes were written in encomiastic style; that is they were written to praise and glorify someone. The Pindaric odes were written to celebrate and glorify the victorious athletes in the Olympic Games. The English odes true to its Greek prototype were songs that were written in praise of someone or something. They were written to eulogise something that aroused the poet’s sensibility. Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn is a eulogy to the beauty etched on an Urn that the poet sees.

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