A lyric (from the Greek Lyrikos) was originally a song written for musical accompaniment by a lyre. The term now refers to poem that, though not necessary intended to be sung, are melodious in meter and rhythm. Lyric tended to be subjective and emotional rather than intellectually complex and are generally written in the first person. The genres of alergy and ode are both lyrical in expression. The lyric is often distinguished from two other broad categories of poetry, the narative and the dramatic, but both long narrative poem and verse plays frequently resort to lyric devices.
The Lyrical Ballads (1978) is a volume of poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth that includes Wordsworth's "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" and Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The preface, which Words word added to a second edition (1800), is regarded as the earliest and most important theoretical statement of the principles of English Romanticism. In the preface Wordworth rejected the artificial, consciously poetic diction of his predecessors and proposed to write in the "language really used by men," to illustrate "the primary laws of our nature" in the lives of humble, rustic people. His celebrated definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of the powerful feelings" is too personal to be inclusive but apty describes the movingly introspective "Tintern Abbey."