Poetry Form : Lyric

Lyric Poem

A lyric poem or lyrical poem in literature is a poem in which the poet either expresses his feelings and emotions. The poet also presents a character in the first person to express his emotions. It is a combination of lyric and poetry where a piece of poetry is written as a lyric. Lyric has been derived from lyre, a musical stringed instrument used during the Grecian period to accompany the poetry sung during different festivities.


Aristotle used the world lyric or lyrical with reference poetry to categorize it into three distinct types. A lyric poem is often short and non-narrative but keeps some elements of melody. Although odes and elegies are other categories, they, too, are placed under the lyric poetry. Lyric poems can follow any metrical pattern, be it iambic, trochaic, or pyrrhic.

(Iambic)
An iamb is a literary device that can be defined as a foot containing unaccented and short syllables, followed by a long and accented syllable in a single line of a poem (unstressed/stressed syllables). Two of Robert Frost’s poems, Dust of Snow, and The Road not Taken are considered two of the most popular examples of iamb.

Trochaic
Trochaic an adjective of trochee is a metrical foot composed of two syllables; stressed followed by an unstressed syllable. This rhythmic unit is used to make up the lines of poetry. However, it is deliberately inserted to make the text sound different. The material pattern of trochee is composed of “falling rhythm” as the stress is at the beginning of the foot. It, however, plays a great role when writing about dark subjects like madness and death. Etymologically, trochee is derived from a Greek word, “trokhaios” which means ‘to run.’

Types of Trochaic Meter
Trochaic Tetrameter: It is a type of meter consisting of four stressed syllables per line. For example, “By the shores of Gitche Gu”.
Trochaic Heptamer: It is a type of meter consisting of seven stressed syllables per line. Such as, “Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and”.
Trochaic Pentameter: It is a type of meter consisting of five stressed syllables per line. “And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor”.
Iambic Trimeter: It is a type of meter consisting of three stressed syllables per line. For example, “This has neither wax nor”.
Catalexis: The absence of a syllable in the final foot in a line is called catalexis.

Pyrrhic meter
A metrical unit consisting of two unstressed syllables, in accentual-syllabic verse, or two short syllables, in quantitative meter. Though regularly found in classical Greek poetry, pyrrhic meter is not generally used in modern systems of prosody: unaccented syllables are instead grouped with surrounding feet. Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” contains examples of pyrrhic meter, here in bold: “To a green thought in a green shade.”

So we have the technical information on Lyric poetry. I gathered the above from other websites (all listed below). Lyric poetry is often the basis for songs. Not always, but often. I normally don’t use the writing from other sites, even though I am citing the sources… But I wanted to give you information on a form that I don’t use. I have no skill with lyric poetry.

Let’s talk about Rap… Tuesday Tunes

So I don’t generally listen to a lot of Rap. It is a genre that I don’t give much thought to. It is spoken word instead of singing. There is a definite difference between poetry and music verse… Rap lands somewhere inbetween. There are a few artists who I actually do listen to. Emenim and LL Cool J being prominent among them. I have wanted to write lyrics for music, but I have never felt capable. Today I choose a song that Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J did. It feels like poetry to me.

Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J – All I Have

Lyrics
[Intro: Jennifer Lopez, Sample & LL Cool J]
Love is life and life is living
It’s very special
All my love…
Oh-oh-oh
Uh, baby, don’t go
All my, all my, all my love
Baby, don’t go, yeah
Very special
Baby, don’t go, uh
All my love
Baby, don’t go, yeah
Baby, don’t go
All my, all my, all my love
I understand, just chillin’
Baby, don’t go, yeah, yeah
Why you actin’ like that?

[Verse 1: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
It’s such a shame, but I’m leaving (Uh)
Can’t take the way you mistreated me (Uh)
And it’s crazy, but oh, baby (Come on, yo, uh, uh, uh)
It don’t matter, whatever, don’t phase me
I don’t believe you wanna leave like this
I don’t believe I just had my last real kiss
I do believe we’ll laugh and reminisce
Wait a minute, don’t bounce, baby, let’s talk about this, man

[Pre-Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
Well, I’m bouncing and I’m out, son (What you want, baby?)
I gotta leave you alone (Come on now)
‘Cause I’m good, holding down my spot
And I’m good reppin’ the girls on the block (Don’t go, baby)
And I’m good, I got this thing on lock
So without me you’ll be fine, right? (Come on, baby)

[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh

[Verse 2: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
The nights I waited up for you (Oh, boy)
Promises you made about coming through
So much time you wasted
That’s why I had to replace you (Uh, uh, uh)
It makes a cat nervous, the thought of settling down
Especially me, I was creepin’ all over town (Creepin’)
I thought my tender touch could lock you down (Yeah)
I knew I had you, as cocky as it sounds
That’s the way you used to giggle right before I put it down
It’s better when you angry, come here, I’ll prove it now (Come here)
Stop playing (Haha, aw), you gaming
I gotta leave you alone (What you want now?)
[Pre-Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
‘Cause I’m good holding my spot
Stop acting like that
And I’m good reppin’ the girls on the block
Now you know you need to stop
And I’m good, I got this thing on lock
So without me you’ll be fine, right?
Here we go

[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh

[Verse 3: LL Cool J & Jennifer Lopez]
People make mistakes to make up, to break up, to wake up
Cold and lonely, chill, baby, you know me, you love me (Oh)
I’m like your homie, instead of beefin’, come hold me
I promise I’m not a phony, don’t bounce, baby, console me (Come here)
Ain’t nothing you can say to me that
Can change my mind, I got to let you go now (Chill, baby)
And nothing will ever be the same, so just (Yeah)
Be on your way, go ahead and do your thing now (Baby, don’t go)
And there’s no more to explain to me, you know (Come on, now)
I know your game and I’m not feeling what you do (Come on, now)
So I’m bouncing and I’m out, son (Don’t bounce)
I gotta leave you alone, yeah, yeah (Don’t bounce, don’t bounce, baby)
[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have (Don’t bounce, baby)
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad (Don’t bounce, baby)
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad (Uh)
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh
All my pride is all I have (Don’t bounce, baby)
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have (Baby, don’t go)
You’ll be needing me, but too bad (You’re everything to me)
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad (You mean everything to me, baby)
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own (We all make mistakes, you know what I’m sayin’?)
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah (I still love you, baby)
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh (I’ll always love you, baby)

[Outro: LL Cool J]
I promise you
You know what I’m sayin’?