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Iambic Pentameter

Today I’d like to talk to you about how meter plays a part in how we write a poem and sometimes in how we speak The above lines, which are not at all poetic, are written in a specific rhythm, or meter. Go back and read them again. You’ll pick up on the rhythm: da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, etc. (unaccented syllable, accented syllable, etc.) The meter most commonly employed in poetry is iambic pentameter: An iamb consists of an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable. “Penta” means five. Therefore, five iambs create the meter called iambic pentameter. Now, we’ll look at the top two lines again, this time dividing the words into three lines: 1. Today I’d like to talk to you about 2. how meter plays a part in how we write 3. a poem and some- times in how we speak. This plain, literal language is written in the rhythm used in many poems—iambic pentameter. Literary examples, followed by everyday language, all in iambic pentameter: “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall.” (Robert Browning) My rubber ball went bouncing down the hall! (Yours truly) ***************************** “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (THE Bard) Let’s stop and buy some gum along the way. (Yours truly) **************************** Ask me for trochees, dactyls, anapests, and spondees. All will take me quite a while. Request tetrameter and trimeter. Will do! But none of these will make me smile like writing five neat iambs in each line. I most enjoy this well-established style. August 1, 2018 Contest Title: Reads Like Music--Haibun-Look poetry contest Sponsor: Line Gauthier

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 8/1/2018 5:17:00 PM
This is quite educational Janice..I thoroughly enjoyed how you explained it like a great teacher (perhaps you are one..I was adjunct faculty for over 30 years..so I appreciate the style). I am going to fave this poem so I can read it again. You have won already in my view.
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Janice Canerdy
Date: 8/1/2018 5:43:00 PM
WOW! Thank you so much for this comment, Vijay. I taught high-school English for 29 years. Writing this was like being back in the classroom--made me nostalgic. :-) Janice