Lesson no 6

Shortly I will take up a the relation between lyric and history. the reality and
the society .
There are lots of examples of lyric poetry running from a wish to tell us about
the society and its existence, in the meaning of having a social function and also
being a political power. We can also be sure of the fact that the lyric can succeed
very well in such projects.
By reading Pindaros ( born 522 or 518 B.C. and dead 446 or 438 B.C. ) considered as the greatest poets during Antique time and much admired by the Roman poets where he in his odes are writing about the Olympic Athletes, and also showed us about their Aristocratic nobleness. Here, we also learn something about the Greek society and understand that his work was ordered with a clear social-political meaning and to honour the heroes of the Aristocrats. The mystique and the poetic quality in those poems make them not as truly poems for ordinary use but we can’t forget that his meaning was obvious to describe the Aristocratic rulesand historical reality.
In the Middle Age time, we also find poetry in close relation to the Courts, describing, criticizing and confirming the steady society. A good example is Walter von der Vogelweide(1170-1230) and his (Minnerlieder) in where he gives us notes about the Kingdom and its fight towards the Power of Popes.
A later form of social engaged lyric is the Working songs as connection for the strength and arguments to find better conditions in the hard working class. Example the “International”, written in 1871 by the French and revolutionary ballad poet.EugènePottier

Through different times has also genre of new and (lower classes of genres) taken form.We have Elegy, Ode, Epigram, Dràpa, Ballads and Rondeau ,that is different in form and context. The differences and to maintain the form of those have a central factor in its writing and publishing- and of course in reading of lyrics.
Every genre has a recognisable structure as all text must have a motive and a theme to beunderstandable.
The word “genre” is related to generation and to birth and is obvious in every text.
To work with a poem, we can search for structure and the bounded form and it is so obvious that those rules are connected to the genre.
Today we stand in front of the fact that we are no longer capable of recognize the old genres and the genres below.

In a iambic poem it could rhyme after the scheme, aba bcb cdc and so on in a chain rhyme,but it is not many people who can see that this line form is Dantes terzin (terza rima) and the form of Divina Commedia, where a sole verse is written in eleven syllables (endecasillabo). It is clear that this old scheme can pop up in new and modern poetry but never being recognized.
Dante found this rhyming scheme very useful in his work as the verses goes into each other and force the verses forward. The group of three and three is also connected to the Christian symbolic of speech.(The Trinity).

The genres are very close to the poets and the readers knowledge.
Today in modern society many more people are reading compared to the Middle Age, and literature has got a more great sphere.

But also among educated people it is not many completely intimate with the form of
(Terza rima). We hope that this will change and I am sure it will, cause still we
are having education and courses about (prosody) metrical stanza and poetic forms ,which will keep the lyric poetry living.
Although the generations have lost the hard grip and severe regulative method, and the expectations are much less about prosody than only 100 years ago.

In next lesson I will go on with the Elegy ( Song of lamentation )
and the Hymn (Song of praise) and the Ode. which have a great historical interest.

©kerstin centervall