Lyric Poem Definition Literary Term

Read this article to know about the meaning, characteristics and types of lyric poem in English Literature.

Also read: What is a Sonnet Poem Definition

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Meaning of Lyric Poem

lyric poem

A lyric poem is any fairly short poem uttered by a single speaker, who expresses a state of mind or a
process of thought or feeling. Originally, lyric was used to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre.

The chief quality of a lyric poem is its emotional intensity. It is a cry from the heart-of joy, sorrow, surprise etc. As powerful feelings are of short duration, the lyric is short. It is in fact, the purest form of poetry.

The lyric is usually personal i.e. the poet expresses his own feelings in it. In beauty & variety of music, English lyric poetry is supreme.

Generally speaking, the lyric poem has three parts-

☞ In the first part, the theme is introduced.

☞ In the second part, the theme is enlarged.

☞ In the third part, the theme reaches its climax.

Spontaneity is an important quality of a lyric poem. The poet sings effortlessly because of inner urge for self-expression.

Also read: What Does Ode Mean


Ø It expresses personal & emotional feelings or thoughts.

Ø It doesn’t tell a story.

Ø It has song-like qualities.

Ø It is usually short.

Ø In olden days, it was sung with a lyre.

Ø It always uses first person’s point of view.


There are many different types of lyric poem. A few examples are:

☞ Love song

☞ Patriotic song

☞ Hymn

☞ Elegy (a mournful poem)

☞ Ode (addressed to a person, thing etc.)

☞ Sonnet (a special 14-line poem)

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