I think what distinguishes poetry from plays and novels is that poetry allows more flexibility overall with structure, story-telling, arrangement, and tone of voice. Plays and novels follow a certain structure when it comes to formatting including how the lines and sentences are arranged on the page, grammar, punctuation, etc. –Saiara Mashiat
Saiara’s definition is super helpful to our understanding of lyric poems. Since lyric poetry is generally rhythmic, passionate, and relatively short, I found that “structure, story-telling, arrangement, and tone of voice” were especially great clues. Tone of voice is an important point when discussing the lyric. Because lyric poetry is meant to be filled with emotion, it is important for the writer to be able to display certain feelings through the tone and mood of the poem. I also think that “story-telling” is a strong descriptor of the lyric. When I think of songs or lyrics, I think about a story that the artist/writer is trying to tell. The same goes for all genres of literature, but the definition of “story telling” is very interesting when applied to lyric poetry.
Poetry conveys messages through the lyrical use of techniques and words and is appreciated because of its selected use of words, rhyming scheme, language and intensity of feelings or moods while novels and plays tend to more of a peculiar structure, separation through the use of chapters, and often prosaic language. – Rubén
Rubén makes an especially good point when talking about the “language and intensity of feelings or moods.” Lyric poetry is intended to be passionate and emotional, so it is impossible to speak about it without mentioning the way that it aims to make the reader feel something. As both Saiara and Rubén mentioned, structure is also important when considering lyric poems. They are more often than not relatively short in length and follow a specific rhyming pattern.
Poetry is distinguished from the rest by its emphasis on imagery and rhythm. -Jay
Jay makes a very crucial point about lyric poetry though the use of the word “rhythm.” One of the most important things about lyric poems is the musical, rhythmic pattern that they follow. As Professor Coats described, the very root of the word comes from an instrument and someone crating a rhythm. Imagery is another good descriptor. Because lyric poetry is relatively short, writer rely on imagery and figurative language to relay a message or portray a feeling.