The MacKenzie Lyric Poetry Logo

The MacKenzie Lyric Poetry logo you see in this website's header is based on a lyre-and-laurels ornament in the Palais Garnier in Paris, also known as the Paris Opera. Joseph Charles MacKenzie selected this design to honor Elizabeth, his wife and muse, who particularly enjoys the Palais Garnier when visiting Paris with her poet husband.

Influence of Early Greek Lyrics

Joseph Charles MacKenzie has read the ancient lyric verse of Greece in the original Greek, including Alcman, Sappho, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Stesichorus, and Pindar. The study of Greek meters has given MacKenzie's poetry a special musicality. The Latins word for this quality is "lyricus," or "lyric," referring to the lyre poets used to accompany themselves in the singing of their verses.

The Sonnet – A Catholic Invention

Giacomo da Lentini, a 13th-century poet, invented the sonnet in the service of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, a crusading king whose fine Catholic education and intellectual acumen sparked the "Sicilian Renaissance." Frederick's vibrant court included astronomers, philosophers, mathematicians, artists, and musicians from many lands both east and west. The form of the sonnet arose from two sources: Plato's dialogue entitled the Timeus, and Fibonacci's number sequence. The Sicilian court of Frederick II produced some 300 sonnets, including those of the king himself.

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About Joseph Charles MacKenzie

I am a traditional lyric poet, First Place winner of the Scottish International Poetry Competition (Long Poem Section). My poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. I write primarily for the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

On the Westminster Bridge Islamic Terror Attack – March 22, 2017

By | April 20th, 2017|Categories: Poem|

The Bridge When Wordsworth stood upon that bridge most fair, And wondered if some gloomy passer-by Could be so dim that London's majesty Would never touch his dullness, unaware The poet prophesied the world's despair That here beneath a once and future sky, In Moloch's name the innocent would die Their cries to fill the crisp and smokeless air; That there would be no Christian left to weep The dead [...]

The Sonnets for Christ the King – A Work of Penance

By | December 3rd, 2016|Categories: Sonnets for Christ the King|

The composition of the Sonnets for Christ the King was assigned to me by a humble priest as a penance for my first youthful sequence of 154 amatory sonnets conceived in sin. While these had won First Place at the Scottish International Poetry Competition and had matched Shakespeare's 1609 sequence, at least in number, they could only be erased from God's memory by the completion of a new sequence of equal number, this [...]