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Lyric Poem Examples - Beautiful Samples of Lyric Poetry!

Updated on September 23, 2014

The Beauty of Lyric Poems - Lyric Poem Examples

If you want to know more about lyric poems or to get lyric poem examples, then you will get a great mini-tutorial here!

So what is a lyric poem? A lyric poem is a relatively short, non-narrative poem that expresses emotions or personal feelings. A lyric can be an ode or even a sonnet, but does not have to be set to music.

Lyric poems are often very moving and they can be quite beautiful. I hope that you enjoy this lens on lyric poem examples!

Examples Of Lyric Poems - Take The Poll!

What Do You Think About Lyric Poems?

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Did You Know...

The term "lyric" comes from "lyre", a musical instrument that accompanied ancient Greek poets?

Where Do YOU Get Your Inspiration? Use An Example Of Lyric Poem Here!

Example Of Lyric Poetry: To an Athlete Dying Young

by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

The time you won your town the race

We chaired you through the market-place;

Man and boy stood cheering by,

And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,

Shoulder-high we bring you home,

And set you at your threshold down,

Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away

From fields were glory does not stay

And early though the laurel grows

It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut

Cannot see the record cut,

And silence sounds no worse than cheers

After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout

Of lads that wore their honours out,

Runners whom renown outran

And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,

The fleet foot on the sill of shade,

And hold to the low lintel up

The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head

Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,

And find unwithered on its curls

The garland briefer than a girl's.

Lyric Poetry

The figure standing boldly forward in the center represents “Lyric Poetry,” crowned with a wreath of laurel and touching the strings of a lyre. The feelings that most commonly inspire her songs are personified on either side. On the right are “Pathos,” looking upward, as if calling on heaven to allay her grief; “Truth,” a beautiful nude woman (the naked truth) stands securely upright; and in the corner “Devotion” sits absorbed in contemplation. On the left are “Passion,” enraptured, with her arms thrown out in a graceful movement; “Beauty,” who sits calmly self-contained; and “Mirth,” the nude figure of a little boy, who invites her to play.

Bring Poetry To Life!

Examples of Lyric Poetry - Excerpt From: Ode To The West Wind

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

"What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?"

Excerpt from Ode On A Grecian Urn by John Keats

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! "

Excerpt from 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

"Drive my dead thoughts over the universe

Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!

And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!

Be through my lips to unawakened Earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? "

Get Inspired With Lyric Poetry Examples!

Conceits in 16th Century British Lyric Poetry - A discussion of lyric poetry and more!

Choice Reading - Lyric Poetry - Check out these selections

Lyric Poems Examples - Dream Deferred

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Comments are appreciated...

What's Your Favorite Lyric Poem? Do You Have An Example Of A Lyric Poem You Love? - Share your thoughts!

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    • profile image

      jun pyo 

      4 years ago

      nice one!!! i like it!

    • joseph-sottile-16 profile image


      5 years ago

      I love the "Bring Poetry to Life" graphic. All good poems grab us, and hug us.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like the background.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Poetry is so enchanting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the information, I think according to the video I must be writing lyric poetry. You have selected some nice examples of the genre, I think I understand more about it now.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, nicely done!

    • asilonline lm profile image

      asilonline lm 

      6 years ago

      very nice lens

    • tyrone-williams profile image


      6 years ago

      why don't you join my new poem forum you can put a link back to here if you want

      all the best Tyrone

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      Keat's Ode To A Grecian Urn. No idea why. Just like it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love poetry and it sets the right mood for those long rainy days.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I need help wit my poetry project

    • efriedman profile image


      7 years ago

      You raised the question, Where do you get your inspiration? Lately I've been writing short poems that slip into my mind in the midst of everyday life. They respond to a momentary observation of something familiar, seen in a new way. The poems are very short. An illustrated collection is found on Squidoo lens Haitweet.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      It is written by Borges, but I can't translate it in English. It talks about passage of time, missed opportunities, about life... Thanks for this lens!

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 

      7 years ago

      Here's a beautiful piece of lyric poetry by S.T Coleridge:

      "Ungrateful he, who pluck'd thee from thy stalk

      "Poor faded flow'ret! on his careless way

      "Inhald'd awhile thy odours on his walk,

      "Then onward pss'd and left thee to decay

      "Ah! Melancholy emblem! had I seen

      "Thy modest beauties dew'd with Evening's gem

      "I had not rudely cropp'd thy parent stem

      "But left thee, blushing, 'mid the enliven'd green

      "And now I bend me o'er thy withered bloom,

      "And drop the tear - as Fancy, at my side,

      "Deep sighing, points the fair frail Abra's tomb-

      " 'Like thine, sad Flower, was that poor wanderer's pride!

      " 'Oh! lost to Love & Truth, whose selfish joy

      " 'Tasted her vernal sweets, but tasted to destroy!' "

      (The Faded Flower)


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