Dear poetry lovers,
We are happy to announce the launch of New Lyre’s second issue.
For too long, establishment outlets and educational institutions have dominated the cultural landscape with misleading and arbitrary notions of artistic composition. This has led to a dearth of meaning across the world of arts and letters—a world now overflowing with diary entries and prose masquerading as poetry, navel-gazing sold as authentic creative expression, and philosophical existentialism disguised as “art for art’s sake.”
From simply broadcasting one’s personal neuroses, to amplifying the ugliness of the world, to overshadowing beauty through existential dread—these contemporary forms of artistic expression have largely run their course. While generations have been gorged with the titillating taste of novelty and an obsession with the “new,” we can observe that making great art is as much a question of “making it new” as it is of “making it old.” The successful combination of the two constitutes true timeless, as opposed to the mere pursuit of novelty, or the blind dogmatic adherence to formalism.
By stark contrast, we believe like John Keats did, that poetry is above all else the wording of our own highest thoughts, an expression of the inexpressible, a revelation of the unseen. The experience of great art becomes very much like the seeing of an old friend after many years. For his part, the artist serves as a special kind of mediator between the world of ever-changing things and the world of never-changing things—between the earthly and the divine. The poet binds us to the material world through beauty, but also awakens in us something immaterial—a sense of the sublime.
In the words of Friedrich Schiller:
The Artist, it is true, is the son of his age; but pity for him if he is its pupil, or even its favorite! Let some beneficent Divinity snatch him when a suckling from the breast of his mother, and nurse him with the milk of a better time that he may ripen to his full stature beneath a distant Grecian sky. And having grown to manhood, let him return, a foreign shape, into his century; not, however, to delight it by his presence; but terrible, like the son of Agamemnon, to purify it. The matter of his works he will take from the present; but their Form he will derive from a nobler time, nay from beyond all time, from the absolute unchanging unity of his nature. Here from the pure aether of his spiritual essence, flows down the Fountain of Beauty, uncontaminated by the pollutions of ages and generations, which roll to and fro in their turbid vortex far beneath it.
The role of the artist is thus sacred. He or she is capable of elevating even the ugliest of subjects through beauty, treating both the sacred and profane, both the tragic and sublime. Shakespeare demonstrated this throughout his career, and the young Alma Deutscher continues to demonstrate this with astonishing beauty and riveting passion in her music today.
As a contribution to the twenty-first century world of timeless art, New Lyre will publish a new journal every six months, offering new exclusive works of poetry, drama, short stories, critical essays and reviews. Along with our twice-yearly publication, readers can listen to fresh installments of the New Lyre Podcast where we dive deeply into the issues of artistic composition, the nature of creativity, and the role of the arts in fostering a more insightful, free, and beautiful world.
We therefore invite you all gently to read, and kindly to judge, our journal.
New Lyre Magazine