Moni wrote:I have to ask the stupid question - what makes a poem a poem and what makes lyrics... lyrics?
I'm no expert, but poems have more to do with making the words sound good, choosing the right words to convey the emotion the author wants to the reader who has nothing but the actual text to go by. Lyrics focus on the singing just as much as the words, with the bonus of being able to sing words a certain way to give them an extra dimension.
We all know, and love, that lyric, but as a poem it just doesn't fly well. From knowing the melody of the singing we get feelings we just don't get by reading them off paper.
"It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take."
- Robert Frost, After Apple-Picking
I really love this poem, but I have a hard time finding a way to sing this. It makes a great poem, but to call them "lyrics" would be a stretch,. Inversely...
"Dust always blowing about the town,
Except when sea-fog laid it down,
And I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.
All the dust the wind blew high
Appeared like gold in the sunset sky,
But I was one of the children told
Some of the dust was really gold.
Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
'We all must eat our peck of gold'."
Frost again, A Peck of Gold
This poem by Robert Frost could easily double as lyrics. Frost wasn't really a singer, and I doubt he had lyrics on his mind when he wrote but I have an easy time singing this poem. I guess I'd call this the double-whammy: it's a poem with lyrical beat, or lyrics that read nicely as a poem.
That's my story.