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The recent burgeoning of creative nonfiction and the personal essay has yielded a fascinating sub-genre that straddles the essay and the lyric poem. These "poetic essays" or "essayistic poems" give primacy to artfulness over the conveying of information.
They forsake narrative line, discursive logic, and the art of persuasion in favor of idiosyncratic meditation. The lyric essay partakes of the poem in its density and shapeliness, its distillation of ideas and musicality of language.
It partakes of the essay in its weight, in its overt desire to engage with facts, melding its allegiance to the actual with its passion for imaginative form.
The lyric essay does not expound. It may merely mention. As Helen Vendler says of the lyric poem, "It depends on gaps. It is suggestive rather than exhaustive.
Generally it is short, concise and punchy like a prose poem. But it may meander, making use of other genres when they serve its purpose: Given its genre mingling, the lyric essay often accretes by fragments, taking shape mosaically - its import visible only when one stands back and sees it whole.
The stories it tells may be no more than metaphors.
Or, storyless, it may spiral in on itself, circling the core of a single image or idea, without climax, without a paraphrasable theme. The lyric essay stalks its subject like quarry but is never content to merely explain or confess. It elucidates through the dance of its own delving.
Loyal to that original sense of essay as a test or a quest, an attempt at making sense, the lyric essay sets off on an uncharted course through interlocking webs of idea, circumstance, and language - a pursuit with no foreknown conclusion, an arrival that might still leave the writer questioning.
Its voice, spoken from a privacy that we overhear and enter, has the intimacy we have come to expect in the personal essay. Yet in the lyric essay the voice is often more reticent, almost coy, aware of the compliment it pays the reader by dint of understatement.
What has pushed the essay so close to poetry? The life span of a fact is shrinking; similitude often seems more revealing than verisimilitude. We turn to the artist to reconcoct meaning from the bombardments of experience, to shock, thrill, still the racket, and tether our attention.
We turn to the lyric essay - with its malleability, ingenuity, immediacy, complexity, and use of poetic language - to give us a fresh way to make music of the world. But we must be willing to go out on an artistic limb with these writers, keep our balance on their sometimes vertiginous byways.Anne Carson, in her essay on the lyric, 'Why Did I Awake Lonely Among the Sleepers' (Published in Seneca Review Vol.
XXVII, no. 2) quotes Paul Celan. What he says of the poem could well be said of the lyric essay: The poem holds its ground on its own margin. Lyric Essay is a contemporary creative nonfiction form which combines qualities of poetry, essay, memoir, and research writing, while also breaking the boundaries of the traditional five-paragraph essay.
As a genre unto itself, the lyric essay tends to combine conventions of many different genres. Poets & Writers Live is an initiative developed in response to interviews and discussions with writers from all over the country.
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Nov 18, · Home Lyric essay seneca reviews. Professional college essay writer life is like riding a bicycle essay my personal identity essay where i want to go essay essay on my first day at school after summer vacation seyla benhabib deliberative democracy essays wow statements for essays on global warming social media and youth culture.
(For more information, see our reprint of "Seneca Review Promotes Lyric Essay" from Poets & Writers Magazine.). With its Fall issue, Seneca Review began to publish what we've chosen to call the lyric rutadeltambor.com recent burgeoning of creative nonfiction and the personal essay has yielded a fascinating sub-genre that straddles the essay and the lyric poem.