In Defense of a New Lyricism
by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
“man is himself an object”
Lyricism, the poetry of emotion, is in need of an overhaul but not in need of complete annihilation. Lyricism at its core is rhythm and sentiment tied together. This bundle is of great importance to both reader and writer. As poetry finds a natural pace conjoined to thought, it returns to its verbal and thus songlike primordial state. This rhythm which comes with thought attached to breath or heart or nature or machinery or whatever is contained inside and out converts emotion also to its natural state – the state of being sensed.
Lyricism is poetry made natural or better yet, normal/mundane. The new lyricism is not concerned with meter as much as it is concerned with the pace of thought, memory, experience. Lyricism translates the world into emotion and emotion into a musical/tonal state of being. Being is important. Lyricism works with flow and rests so as to keep the emotion moving between writer and reader.
This link between reader and writer is the crux of the new lyricism. Lyricism is about emotion not about subject and object. It is about how an occurrence changes a state of mind/how a mind changes at all. States of mind are what connects all individuals. We experience and we process. We react. We internalize. We externalize. When we read we not only absorb words but apply those words to our past and ideas of the future and our current place.
Reading is daydreaming or meditating. When one reads poetry one should stay close to the words until words fade into the moment. The moment of sentiment. Of sensing. When one leaves the poem and enters into the Self or outside of the Self.
Thoughts collect as reading occurs. The new lyrical poet harnesses their own thoughts and experiences/perception and transfers into an absorbable state of musicality. The new lyrical poet takes into account syllables, breath, phrasal constituents, phonology, harmony. This poet is love with language and brings it to a natural place where it can do its duty of communicating or rather communing.
Lyricism does not need to be subjective. We are all subjects and objects simultaneously. Experience and perception is all around and ever-occurring. With this taken into account the new lyricism focuses simply or only upon conveyance of the emotion and/or those thoughts related to emotion. The mere mention of joy, anger, love, distress conjures up sentiment and the daydreams which transfer one back intowards such a state of occurrence.
Emotion needs no agent nor patient. Emotion is. And if it is, it is worthy of the poet’s attention.
Emotion is an ever-changing part of being human and emotions shift at any given time. The amount of triggers which set off thoughts and thus emotion or more precisely the memories surrounding and caging memory are infinite. Today is different for everyone. This second is varied for each experiencer but it is experienced. And, emotion is there; even if the emotion is the emotion of nothing – no value. Apathy, indifference, nihilism, zen, etc states of non-emotion are in themselves emotion. Emotion is nothing more than a state of mind/being which sometimes becomes a reaction. Mostly, emotion is from the Latin for remove or displace. What is more displaced than nothingness? And, in all honesty what state is harder to achieve than that of nothingness within writing? Even the most abstract and uncreative of poems emote. Each syllable in its morphological essence may trigger change. Each syllable with its phonological presence can soothe or ruffle and thus create an emotion.
The new lyrical poet does not need to fall into archaic traps and be brought into a state of ‘I’- heavy wordings. Nor does the lyrical poet need to fall into meter. Language will find its flow from there we place emotions to move between eyes/ears and print/voice.