Lyric poetry is one of three main genres of poetry. The other two are dramatic and narrative. Nowadays, poetry has evolved to where it's difficult to contain it to these three categories. Yet, it's always best to understand the basic constructs within this expanding universe of lyrical beauty.
Examples of lyric poetry abound; the category encompasses sonnets, ballads, odes and more. You won't be surprised to learn that Shakespeare was adept at this art form. In the examples below, we'll explore some of his work, as well as some other lyrical masters. So in lyric poetry, the mood is melodic and emotional. The writer uses words that express his or her state of mind, perceptions, and feelings, rather than tell a story.
A lyric poem is usually written in the first person. Some of the best examples of lyric poetry come from Italian and English sonnets. Let's take a closer look. Let's start with an English sonnet by none other than William Shakespeare. Here's his famous "Sonnet Number ". Go, lovely Rose- Tell her that wastes her time and me, That now she knows, When I resemble her to thee, How sweet and fair she seems to be. Tell her that's young, And shuns to have her graces spied, That hadst thou sprung In deserts where no men abide, Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is the worth Of beauty from the light retired: Bid her come forth, Suffer herself to be desired, And not blush so to be admired. Then die-that she The common fate of all things rare May read in thee; How small a part of time they share That are so wondrous sweet and fair! Many lyric poems are about love, although they can be about anything which stirs the emotions. Here's a lyric poem written by Emily Dickinson.
It's titled "I Felt a Funeral in my Brain. Now you're familiar with examples of lyric poetry, let's compare it to the other two branches of poetry's tree, dramatic and narrative poetry. Dramatic poetry is written in blank verse and is meant to be spoken. Women and girls were so often unseen, forgotten, afterthoughts.
Faith herself had used it to good effect, hiding in plain sight and living a double life. But she had been blinded by exactly the same invisibility-of-the-mind, and was only just realizing it.
Looking into my eyes with tears in his, as if he's seeing me for the last time. A scab is something you have to put up with until the time comes when you can pick it off and flick it away. Neck storms into class, a bull chasing thirty-three red flags. Delicately, like the petals of a flower. Light the first page, light the second page. Each becomes a black butterfly. Beautiful, eh? Light the third page from the second and so on, chainsmoking, chapter by chapter, all the silly things the words mean, all the false promises, all the second-hand notions and time-worn philosophies.
To entertain and tickle the brain, metaphor examples sometimes compare two extremely unlike things:. It's the end of the circus. And these are the clowns? Metaphors can help frame abstract concepts in ways that readers can easily grasp:. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.
They do us no good, just stick into our skin and hurt us. Particularly prominent in the realm of poetry is the extended metaphor: a single metaphor that extends throughout all or part of a piece of work. Also known as a conceit , it is used by poets to develop an idea or concept in great detail over the length of a poem.
And we have some metaphor examples for you below.
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Education by poetry is education by metaphor. She must make him happy. She must be his favorite place in Minneapolis. You are a souvenir shop, where he goes to remember how much people miss him when he is gone. She is all states, and all princes, I. Nothing else is. Princes do but play us; compared to this, All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy. I watched a girl in a sundress kiss another girl on a park bench, and just as the sunlight spilled perfectly onto both of their hair, I thought to myself: How bravely beautiful it is, that sometimes, the sea wants the city, even when it has been told its entire life it was meant for the shore.
I also think that the way the book cover turns into a poster is a pretty cool twist! Perspective, or point of view, plays a huge role in history and its interpretation. Check out this previous post where I discuss several picture versions of the text, and the unique perspective supplied by each. In Daniel Kirk's Dogs Rule! See my Words and Images in Perfect Harmony post for more details, as well as teaching suggestions.
The National Geographic's Book of Animal Poetry is wonderful in that it often features multiple poems for a single animal. The zebra and the pig, for instance, are both celebrated by four different poets. Examining the poems, students can discuss what facts and features each poet chose to discuss. In what ways are their poems alike? Older students can even attempt to identify the poem form used by each writer.
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After reading some of the examples in this book from both classic and contemporary writers, students can then try their own hand at describing animals both foreign and familiar. Such poems are an excellent addition to those animal reports and presentations which many teachers already include in their curriculum. Much has been said in educational texts about inquiry learning. From my own experiences, however, I find that students are naturally inquisitive, and there's not much more we need to do but focus their natural curiosity.
Poetry can do this! This is an intriguing exploration into diverse and unique habitats of the world.
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In the preface, the author explains: "Extreme environments such as deserts, glaciers, salt lakes, and pools of oil may not seem appealing, yet in these places, there is often less competition and more safety from predators. So over time, a variety of animals have adapted to these challenging conditions. This collection of poems celebrates some of these great adapters and the risky places where they live.
Below is a sample poem, written in sonnet form:. Atop a rocky peak, the air is pure, but the wind blows fierce and the climb is steep. Each step must be confident and so sure, there's little need to look before you leap. The ice, the snow, the winter's biting cold require a cozy, insulated coat.
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What animal lives here, hardy and bold? Behold this king of cliffs, the mountain goat! Feasting in springtime on grass that is lush, avoiding in summer the sun's blazing rays. Browsing in autumn on stubborn dry brush, learning to deal with the year's hardest days. Living where enemies cannot intrude, it succeeds indeed at this altitude. A fun collection of unusual but authentic holidays, celebrated here in verse.
Students will enjoy researching these and other wacky holidays, and even inventing their own to commemorate people, places, and events that are important to them. See a video trailer here at the Candlewick Press site. Okay, so you may think I cheated on this one. After all, I'm supposed to be giving you purposes for using poetry.
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