The Lyre’s Song

“The Lyre’s Song” is an original poem written by me, Shani Thanki-Franklin. I have chosen to share for students to read and analyse. I hope you enjoy it.

The Lyre’s Song

A hidden tomb revealed its shining gold,
A harp to give sweet music to the dead.
“In afterlife,” its makers had been told,
“We’ll ease the old Queen’s journey up ahead”.
Its golden face shone bright, gave people joy,
Its blissful tune rang deep inside their hearts;
An artefact too perfect to destroy,
It told of wondrous rituals of the past.
Yet where there once was love there now is pain,
And this rare treasure suffered vile abuse.
Man turned on man, they fought for oil and gained
Nothing but destruction while preaching truce.
Among the deaths of yet another war,
It’s just an object broken on the floor.

By Shani Thanki-Franklin

About the Poem

I wrote “The Lyre’s Song” for my English Literature course in the first year of my degree. The task was to write an original sonnet and then analyse our own work in a short essay.

My poem is a Shakespearean Sonnet, which means that it follows these rules:

  • 14 lines long.
  • Written (largely) in iambic pentameter. All breaks to the metre are done for effect.
  • 10 syllables per line. Again, if there are more or fewer than 10 syllables, this is done for effect.
  • The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

The poem is based on the story of The Golden Lyre of Ur from the Iraq Museum. Unfortunately, looters destroyed the beautiful artefact. As a result of the Iraq War and the fall of Saddam Husein, they were in a desperate enough situation to strip the lyre of its precious metals and leave it broken in a car park.

I thought this was a tragedy and I attempted to portray how I felt through this poem.

If you have an unseen element of your exam, it is good to try to write about as many poems as you can. So, please feel free to analyse my work and write essays based on it. While it is not a masterpiece, it is full of literary devices that you can point out for practice.

“The Lyre’s Song” is protected by Shani’s Tutoring copyright.

That means that you can print and quote the poem for personal use only.

However, you cannot redistribute my work in any way without my permission. Any references to it in blog posts, PowerPoint presentations or any other medium must include a credit to me and a link back to this website.

If you would like to analyse this poem in a class or tutoring session for the purposes of education, please send students to this website to read it. I am open to discussions about using the poem in its entirety for school presentations, but please note that you must have my permission in writing to do so. You can contact me at hello@shanistutoring.com to discuss this with me.

Please refer to my copyright notice for more information about how you can use this piece of work.

Analysing “The Lyre’s Song”

If you have a membership here on Shani’s Tutoring, you can join in on our discussions about this poem. There will be a dedicated thread on the forums that should help you to prepare for the unseen poetry section of your exams. We love it when students join in and suggest their own ideas. I may be the poet, but I am not the only one who has the right to make suggestions about what the poem means.

Literature is all about collaboration, after all. A text would mean nothing if it didn’t have its readers/audience to think about it deeply. Authorial intent is only one small part of how you should analyse a piece of work. So, let me know what this poem means to you! Get creative with it!

I will also prepare a tips and tricks page for Shani’s Tutoring members. In it, you will get a run-down of what I said in my essay, as well as my thoughts and analysis 5 years later.

I am always open to essay marking sessions. My turnaround is 1 day during the school holidays and 3 days during the school term. So, if you would like to write an essay and send it to me for marking, feel free to contact me. Shani’s Tutoring members get a discount on all of my services.

If you would like to find out more about Shani’s Tutoring memberships, please check out my page explaining how they work.

Good luck in your studies!