New Lyre’s purpose is to promote a global poetic culture. By offering the world new timeless poetry, penetrating essays and original translations, New Lyre will serve as a journal of high culture for all those who still believe art and poetry have a vital role to play in society.
A journal of high culture is appropriate for citizens who are not afraid to think and appreciate nuance in both thought and ideas. This requires a journal that gladly eschews the desire for convenient narratives and happily does away with any system of preconceived notions.
By embracing a thriving tradition of long-form communication, we hope to encourage a poetic culture in which citizens still carry poetry around with them as they make their way to work, who still keep a collection of poems at their bedsides, and who still have a volume of favorite poems found somewhere on their bookshelves and in their hearts.
We believe that if anything should still be printed on paper, it is poetry. We are also convinced that one of the best ways to promote a poetic culture is to have a printed journal which subscribers from every background may enjoy and study with rigor. While screens and digital devices are often addictive, we believe that the calm, collected and patient appreciation of a print journal has a vital role to play in a truly poetic culture.
Each issue of New Lyre will feature original critical essays on aesthetics, culture, history, philosophy and science. From the Haikus of Basho, the classical Arabic muwashas of Al-Andalus, to the rapturous verses of the poetess Sappho and the sublime ballads of Schiller and Goethe, New Lyre will publish original translations of timeless classical poems that have been adapted to our own modern English vernacular. Our journal will seek to highlight and capture the creative human spirit as it has been expressed universally in cultures across history.
Whether it be rhymed couplets, Sapphic stanzas or the loftier styles of epic and dramatic verse, our journal will seek to curate the finest poems, both previously published and unpublished; these will be poems whose language and verses have been adapted to the timeless classical forms that have shaped the sound and music of poets for thousands of years.
New Lyre will also serve as an online voice and multimedia journal highlighting the importance of taking poetry off the page into people’s homes, schools and minds. In the tradition of Sappho and the immortal lyric poets of ancient Greece who sang their poems while accompanied by the notes of a delicate lyre, we will honor and encourage the musical tradition of poetry and its roots in the art of classical poetic recitation.
New Lyre will not be beholden to modern or contemporary conventions—it will not be beholden to any convention from any age. Rather, it will seek to uphold the principles that have defined timeless poetry throughout all ages. Moreover, New Lyre will not weigh into political issues, but it will stand above them like a sun-swept Parnassus whose peaks overlook the many tributaries of the seasoned world.
New Lyre will not shy away from the “big questions.” It will seek to promote the kind of serious thinking that goes into the reading of any great timeless poem, and we will propound the view that such serious poetic thinking is the kind of thinking that may serve citizens in the brightest moments of their lives as well as in the darkest.
In a word, New Lyre will seek to “be a friend, to soothe the cares and lift the thoughts” of all humankind.