10 julio, 2024

The 8 Most Outstanding Lyrical Genre Elements

Main elements of the lyrical genre They are the poem, the verse, the stanza, the meter, the rhythm and the rhyme. The lyric is one of the most cultivated literary genres. It appears mostly in poetic works, although occasionally it can be mixed with the narrative to give rise to narrative poetry.

It is characterized by the use of verse, unlike the narrative, which uses mostly prose. The verse is the basis for the composition of poems. The poem is the classic form of literary expression of the lyric.

This genre is characterized by the subjectivity that the author transmits through his written work. Contrary to the narrative, in which there can be an appearance of objectivity and distance (especially when third person narration is used), in the lyric the feelings and visions of the world that the author possesses are clearly manifested.

Most important elements of the lyric

1- Poem

The poem is a poetic work of variable length. It is the classic form of presentation of lyrical literature. For this reason, lyric and poetry are closely linked and are sometimes automatically associated.

The poem consists of verses. The verses are smaller units equivalent to the sentence in the narrative: they end up forming a whole, which is the poem.

For its part, the stanza is another intermediate unit between the verse and the poem. Several lines form a stanza and several stanzas form a poem.

2- The verse

As mentioned above, the verse is the equivalent of the sentence of the narrative. It is considered one of the minimum units of the poem, below the stanza.

The length of the verse is not measured in words but in syllables. These syllables do not always correspond to the written syllables, but rather have a metrical, musical sense.

Depending on the length (number of metric syllables) there are seven syllable verbs, which are those with seven syllables; octosyllables, which have eight syllables; hendecasyllables, which have eleven syllables; and Alexandrines, which have fourteen syllables; among others.

3- The verse

The stanza is the set of verses followed by a pause marked by a punctuation mark.

This sign can be semicolon, full stop, or semicolon. Group verses that share rhythmic and rhyming unity. Depending on the number of verses they contain and the rhyme, the stanzas can also receive different names.

The stanzas formed only by two verses can be called couplets, hallelujah or joy; those with three verses can be triplets, tercetillos or soleás.

4- Metric

The metric has to do with the number of metric syllables in each verse. As seen in a previous point, the length will determine the type of verse.

5- The rhythm

In lyric poetry, rhythm is an elemental feature that will determine the poetic structure. For this, the distribution of the accents in the verses must be studied, which will determine the metric of the poem.

Other elements that define the poetic rhythm are the repetition of certain words, the rhyme and the alternation of structures to break the monotony.

6- The rhyme

Rhyme is the repetition of sounds, and is measured from the tonic syllable at the end of two or more verses that share rhyme.

The first classification of rhyme establishes the division between assonant rhymes and consonant rhymes. This division takes as a reference if the rhyme is produced by coinciding all the phonemes of the syllables in question, or only the vowels.

There are other divisions that are used in the stylistic study of poetic works. For example, depending on the arrangement of the rhymes within the stanza or depending on the type of word according to the stress of the rhyming syllable (aguda, llana or esdrújula).

7- The cadence

The cadence is the harmonic distribution of the accents, pauses, rhythm, sounds or actions that follow one another in the text of the poem.

8- The language

The language of the lyric has a series of components that distinguish it from other genres. These are the lyrical speaker, the lyrical object, the lyrical motive, the attitude or the mood.

Through these components, language fulfills its function of transmitting emotions, sensations and feelings of a person or object.


“Poetry: the basics”, Jeffrey Wainwright.
“Poetry in Theory: An Anthology 1900-2000”, Jon Cook. (2004).
Poetry on Encyclopaedia Britannica, at britannica.com
What is Poetry? An Introduction, on Thought.Co, at thoughtco.com
Poetry: Definition and Examples, on Literary Terms, at literaryterms.net

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