There is a blur differentiating line between reflective and lyrical poetry. It is quite amusing in fact to make a contemplative study of such types of poetry. The whole efforts of this article are geared towards focusing on this very aspect of peeping in to poetry.
The type of poetry that we call lyrics, are basically short and simple. They are direct expressions of the poet’s sentiments, thoughts and feelings. Going back to the ancient Greece, the lyrics were sung to the tune of a musical instrument known as “lyre”. Recently, lyrics are sung with the guitar.
However, there are lyrics you may find inappropriate for singing. Poems such as Pope’s Essay on Man and Wordsworth’s Prelude, are such a long in length that you can not call them lyrics. They are too thoughtful. So, a lyric consists of feeling rather than thought!
Wordsworth’s the Rainbow depicts the beautiful reflection on nature:
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So it is now I am a man:
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!”
It is lyrical in real sense of the word which expresses the emotions of joy. If the poet had thought of describing the effects of nature on human beings, it would have been reflective poetry and not lyrical.
Thus, you can lightly make a distinction between the two. Lyric is a sort poem expressing feelings and emotions; on the contrary reflective poem is long and quite thoughtful. Even if the subject matter of lyrical poem is love, there are also the sad topics like fear, hatred and death which are dealt with.
The lyrical temper is almost famous in recent times. For instance, Japanese verse known as “haiku” is also a lyric. Noteworthy lyrics have been composed by the poets like Robert Frost, Eliot, W. B. Yeats, e. e. cummings and Dylan Thomas.