Some forms have a combination of meters, often using a different meter for the refrain. For the ancient Greeks , lyric poetry had a precise technical meaning: verse that was accompanied by a lyre , cithara , or barbitos. Because such works were typically sung, it was also known as melic poetry. The lyric or melic poet was distinguished from the writer of plays although Athenian drama included choral odes, in lyric form , the writer of trochaic and iambic verses which were recited , the writer of elegies accompanied by the flute, rather than the lyre and the writer of epic.
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These archaic and classical musician-poets included Sappho , Alcaeus , Anacreon and Pindar. Archaic lyric was characterized by strophic composition and live musical performance. Some poets, like Pindar extended the metrical forms to a triad, including strophe , antistrophe metrically identical to the strophe and epode whose form does not match that of the strophe.
What remained were the forms, the lyric meters of the Greeks adapted to Latin. Catullus was influenced by both archaic and Hellenistic Greek verse and belonged to a group of Roman poets called the Neoteroi "New Poets" who spurned epic poetry following the lead of Callimachus. Instead, they composed brief, highly polished poems in various thematic and metrical genres. The Roman love elegies of Tibullus , Propertius , and Ovid Amores , Heroides , with their personal phrasing and feeling, may be the thematic ancestor of much medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, and modern lyric poetry, but these works were composed in elegiac couplets and so were not lyric poetry in the ancient sense.
The varying forms of the new Chu ci provided more rhythm and greater latitude of expression. Originating in 10th-century Persian , a ghazal is a poetic form consisting of couplets that share a rhyme and a refrain. Formally, it consists of a short lyric composed in a single meter with a single rhyme throughout.
The central subject is love. The ghazal was introduced to European poetry in the early 19th century by the Germans Schlegel , Von Hammer-Purgstall , and Goethe , who called Hafiz his "twin". Lyric in European literature of the medieval or Renaissance period means a poem written so that it could be set to music—whether or not it actually was. A poem's particular structure, function, or theme might all vary.
The dominant form of German lyric poetry in the period was the minnesang , "a love lyric based essentially on a fictitious relationship between a knight and his high-born lady". In , according to the poet, the sight of a woman called Laura in the church of Sainte-Claire d'Avignon awoke in him a lasting passion, celebrated in the Rime sparse "Scattered rhymes".
Laura is in many ways both the culmination of medieval courtly love poetry and the beginning of Renaissance love lyric. A bhajan or kirtan is a Hindu devotional song.
Bhajans are often simple songs in lyrical language expressing emotions of love for the Divine. Notable authors include Kabir , Surdas , and Tulsidas. Chinese Sanqu poetry was a Chinese poetic genre popular from the 12th-century Jin Dynasty through to the early Ming. Early 14th-century playwrights like Ma Zhiyuan and Guan Hanqing were well-established writers of Sanqu.
Against the usual tradition of using Classical Chinese , this poetry was composed in the vernacular. They also produced Petrarchan sonnet cycles. Spanish devotional poetry adapted the lyric for religious purposes. In Japan, the naga-uta "long song" was a lyric poem popular in this era. It alternated five and seven-syllable lines and ended with an extra seven-syllable line. Lyrical poetry was the dominant form of 17th-century English poetry from John Donne to Andrew Marvell. Rarely narrative, they tended towards intense expression. In the 18th century, lyric poetry declined in England and France.
The atmosphere of literary discussion in the English coffeehouses and French salons was not congenial to lyric poetry. Kobayashi Issa was a Japanese lyric poet during this period. In Europe, the lyric emerged as the principal poetic form of the 19th century and came to be seen as synonymous with poetry.
The traditional sonnet was revived in Britain, with William Wordsworth writing more sonnets than any other British poet. Later in the century, the Victorian lyric was more linguistically self-conscious and defensive than the Romantic forms had been. Lyric poetry was popular with the German reading public between and , as shown in the number of poetry anthologies published in the period.
France also saw a revival of the lyric voice during the 19th century. In Russia , Aleksandr Pushkin exemplified a rise of lyric poetry during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In the earlier years of the 20th century rhymed lyric poetry, usually expressing the feelings of the poet, was the dominant poetic form in the United States,  Europe, and the British colonies.
The English Georgian poets and their contemporaries such as A. Housman , Walter de la Mare , and Edmund Blunden used the lyric form.
Then, following the advice of Reedy's Mirror publisher William Marion Reedy, Masters began to experiment with poetic form, bringing to life the sort of people he had known in his boyhood. The result was a book that he called Spoon River Anthology. Spoon River Anthology mixed classical forms with innovative ones to create a work that critics both praised and scorned. It followed the example of the Greek Anthology, a collection of some Greek poems written between about B. Many of these poems, like those in Spoon River, took the form of epigrams—laconic sayings that harbor or seem to harbor a truth—and others were expressed as confessional epitaphs, in which the dead commented on their lives.
Unlike the ancient Greeks, however, Masters made his dead recite their speeches in free verse, a form of poetry that, although pioneered by Walt Whitman many years before, still had not gained popular acceptance; for instance, novelist William Dean Howells, writing in Harper's, regarded Masters's work as nothing but "shredded prose.
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The soliloquy of " Lucinda Matlock ," one of the sequence's best known poems, was based on Master's pioneering grandmother; yet it provides a picture of the common experience of the frontier wife and mother rather than outlining the life of a particular person. Only in a few instances, such as those of Chase Henry, William H.
Herndon and Anne Rutledge and two or three others, did I use anyone's name as a whole. The book became a best-seller; it was, said Stanley Edgar Hyman in his The Critic's Credentials: Essays and Reviews, a " succes de scandale —it was the sex-shocker, the Peyton Place of its day. Knowing that childbirth would kill his wife, Henry Barker impregnated her out of hatred.
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The only feeling Benjamin Pantier inspired in his wife was sexual disgust. Old Henry Bennett died of overexertion in the bed of his young wife. At last America has discovered a poet," rejoiced fellow poet Ezra Pound in the Egoist. Such a writer and book are realized here.
Whether we condemn or praise, we must accept it as a major episode in the history of the poetic movement in the second decade of the new century. Part of the reason Masters's later efforts failed, suggested Russell, lay in his tendency to expound his political views in his work, and in his "willingness to publish as finished works books that were inartistically cluttered with his own highly subjective viewpoints. Spoon River Anthology made him famous, but it also contributed to some of the sadness in his life, and it is to borrow from it his 'true epitaph, more lasting than stone.
Renovated in to create studios for musicians, artists, and writers, the Fine Arts Building was a hotbed of artistic activity, home to magazines such as the Dial and the Poet and translator Agnes Lee was born Martha Agnes Rand in Chicago and used various pen names throughout her writing career.
The second daughter of William H. Rand, of map Many of Masters's letters and papers are in the collection of the University of Texas at Austin.
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