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A Poet's Journal: February 16th, 2015

  February 16th, 2015 Dreams are enough to make us believe that our own personal view of the world is somehow the secret underlying meaning for which all things happen.  They are the confidence which renders meager doubt into absolute truth and hesitation into full-on action.  But none of us will admit that dreams are reality, that they are not illusion, nor that they are always positive, and yet time and again we are told to live by them, to follow them, and to play the role which we have fictionalized in our heads. Though it is separate in our understanding, the dreams of sleep and the emanations of our waking hours, are but one and the same.  There is even a certain pleasure in pondering if the exotic nature of our dreams holds a meaning to the current situation of our lives.  Such is the wonderment of recognizing the imaginative play of the real and the illusory, or the duality that seems to balance out life, because somewhere within the dream we believe there is a reality at which

Lyric Poetry



Lyric poetry lives in its present means by he who composes it. From it the cloud extends which overtops the mountain, soon to leave it snow-clad and brilliant in the morning light. In it, the human condition is apt and sentiments that have been felt by the first of humans, the same as those that will be felt by the last, are with skill waved off in concise sentences. None can be long-winded in the lyric and succeed.

A lyric, then, is a poem of no great length which embodies a mood wherein the poet has felt intensely his idea and the words which represent it. Some of the most recognized examples of lyric poetry in the English language are Shakespeare's sonnets, but some interesting examples may also include Sir Philip Sydney, who laid the ground-work for Shakespeare's sonnets; William Collins with his Ode to Evening; John Keats with his famous cycle of odes; or the following example from Emily Dickinson:


The Grass

The grass so little has to do--
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,

And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;

And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine--
A duchess were to common
For such a noticing.

And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.

And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away--
The grass has so little to do,
I wish I were the hay!


Of course, we all have our favorites, and whoever looks will be sure to find one! Often, the lyric and poet have done their job if at the end one feels empty and lonely, but with the profound aura that something has happened. Lyrics give us this melancholy feeling because our existence is of a deep and dark understanding with the world, morally and intellectually abstract and uncared for. The lyric lets us see our past, our present, and even at times our future, not by making us unhappy, but inspiring in us the origins of humanity and thoughts of unperceived wisdom. Thus, he who believes that he cannot understand the lyric--or poetry in general--is correct: he is not meant to understand! He is only meant to feel and everyone is capable of that. Appreciation lies in curiosity and curiosity will push him to understand if it is strong enough--but let him first probe and understand himself.

Douglas Thornton


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