The sexual instinct has been a staple in lyric poetry since its early stages in the work of Greek poets, leading all the way to the contemporary and modern lyricists of today. Lyrical libido refers to the development of the sexual nature in poems as a literary devise using erotic allusion, narrative, or imagery within various poetic structures. Poets of lyrical libido show some astonishing similarities across thousands of years; they are personal, metaphorical, and candid; they show us that the sexual, or Eros, is such a constant in human exchange that it forms a tradition with the art of poetry itself. Poets who employ lyrical libido use their particular skills in transforming brief moments of euphoria, passion, and sometimes aggression into vivid encapsulating depictions of raw, sensual, and metaphysical pleasure. An excursion into poems from the 4th century BCE to the 21st century shows that throughout diverse cultures, religions, and societies, poets have been integrating the common theme of sex into their lyrics. Through the implementation of lyrical libido Sappho, Asclepiades, the writer of Song of Songs, and Philodemus the Epicurean, along with contemporary and modern writers, Donne, Herrick, Yeats, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, Tony Hoagland, and Sharon Olds, create a unifying link between disparate worlds and immortalize an otherwise ephemeral aspect of life. .
Lyric poetry in the western tradition originates approximately in the 17th century B.C.E. (Santos 19). Homer's Iliad established the prominence of the epic. Although epic poetry and lyric poetry were cohabitants of ancient literature, epic poetry had a public dominance with its emphasis on legend, myth, and masculine adventure. In a predominantly male society, such active verse was often preferred to the soft lines associated with lyrical poetry. Shifts in popular poetry come to reflect these ancient societies as the evolution from the classification of lyric poetry also adapts.