Types of Lyric Poetry
Lyric poetry is made up of several forms. Nonetheless, a common feature in all the subdivisions is the refrain. The refrain is one or several lines that end or follow a strophe and is then repeated throughout the poem, either exact or with a slight variation.
In some cases, the form and theme of a lyric poem are inter wed. However, it is just as common for the form and theme to be opposites, which brings the readers interest on whether the poet can successfully bridge a union between the two.
Lyric poetry is made of two main types: elegy and ode.
- A poem of mourning or reflection on the death of an individual.
- A serious or thoughtful poem, usually with a formal structure.
Both elegies and odes can be sub-divided into several different kinds of poetry.
The most popular form of lyric poetry is the 14-line sonnet (generally a sub-division of an ode), either in Petrarchan or Shakespearean form, in Western civilization. The Petrarchan form is a sonnet consisting of an octave rhyming abbaabba followed by a sestet of cddcee or cdecde. On the other hand, Shakespearean consists of three quatrains of abab cdcd efef followed by a couplet, gg. Shakespearean sonnets generally use iambic pentameter.
Ancient Hebrew poetry, on the other hand, relied on repetition and chiasmus, while classic Greek and Roman were written in set meters and strophes. Pindarus (522 BC - 443 BC) accustomed his odes to rhyme and meter much like modern day poetry.
In short, the lyric poem has been around for centuries and has played a large role in literature history. And even though there are four different forms, they are all related by the refrain.