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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 8:48:00 PM
    This is the most helpful site I have found on scansion...it is an interactive board so read the instructions. http://prosody.lib.virginia.edu/

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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 8:02:00 AM
    "Meter? What knows meter? For 900 hundred years have I trained meter; my own counsel I will keep on who is to be metered!" What Yoda would say on this topic, I think! Love ya, bud; great blog ;)

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 10:24:00 PM
    A fiction writer's perspective. Those of us who write fiction, as well as poetry, know how words can be stressed within written dialogue. Here, I'll write a bit, a husband and wife having a light tiff.....She stares at him, wondering what has happened to their conversations. They used to talk. Really talk. She tried again. "How was your day?" "Fine," he says, his eyes still trained on the television. She changes tactics, smiles, overly brightly, "What would you like to do this weekend." "What? Oh. Read, I guess." She counts to ten. "And?" He looks up, finally. "Golf." A muscle in her eye twitches. "AND?" He stares at her. "Sleep?" Slowly, she bends to his level, takes the remote control and tosses it into the waste paper basket. "WHAT THE HELL?" He bleats. She pauses for a moment, then says, "AND happy FRICKIN' anniversary to you, too." SO and isn't necessarily an unstressed word. Sometimes, it is VERY STRESSED. LOL

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 5:40:00 PM
    oops, I ran out of room. You cannot depend on a dictionary and stress symbols . Meter changes sometimes according to the words surrounding other words. The way we speak naturally is not always the way the dictionary shows a word either. What may be metered to one person, is not that way to a more formal speaker, etc. In the end, when doing a traditional form of poetry, meter is nice, but perfect meter is not a necessity. Once in a while, you can stray from the meter to use a great word that is impossible to work into the pattern. As long as it does not sound too oddly out of place, I see nothing wrong with this! Like all things, poetry evolves. Modern sonnets are not always prim and proper!

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 5:34:00 PM
    Craig, yes, it is a natural talent to use and understand it. I think that is why some of us are drawn more to rhyme than to free verse. IF something comes naturally, we cannot avoid it easily. Some have told me that I am too "sing song-y" and writing perfect meter will give that effect. Even when I try to write free verse, I end up doing it metered, and I know this is wrong. As for people not being able to learn it, I disagree. I remember several poets who used to tell me they could not do metered poetry. When they put their minds to it, I saw them getting better and better. Practice CAN make BETTER. Also, perfect meter is sometimes impossible to do with certain words you may desire to use.

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 3:28:00 PM
    That was the basic reason METER came to be in such common use i.e. Ballad meter or Common Meter it was so people could easily memorize 'something' the words to a song, a genealogy, a history of a country - but it is simply 1 tool in a good writers tool box NOT the be all end all BOX

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 10:10:00 AM
    Hi Craig,Poetry, I would submit can best be described as structured prose spoken aloud between the poet(author) and the listener to create a ' now aural experience' much like the visual 'now' experience when looking at an original piece of art.My travels on PS from short form to here lead me to conclude poetry is ' language with a shape' and the best advice I can give is..write it...then read it aloud..how does it sound in your ear? This applies to one line broken monoku...to haiku..to sonnet to free verse.Rgds Brian

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 9:48:00 AM
    My biggest issue is determining the stresses. I know what I want to say and I know how I want it to feel and as long as it has a flow I don't care so much about the meter. I did however stumble onto a pdf that gave me much more insight of what this stuff all means (I'm no English/literary/Writing scholar, just a hobbyist :) ) http://www.mainepoetssociety.com/craft/meterhandout.pdf

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 7:43:00 AM
    Good point, Craig...never thought about that. Of course, I guess I've never really payed attention to meter in anything I've done...takes patience for it I imagine.

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 7:05:00 AM
    if the meter is perfect only to pander to the requirements of stressed/ unstressed syls, i don;t think this will blow me away..but a slightly flawed one with SOUL will do.. not even the masters created perfect meters, craig.. hugggs

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 12:58:00 AM
    Ten percent write acceptable and five percent write exceptional meter..That gives me some great hope Craig,.cause I was thinking that I'm the only one on the planet who needs to learn more about meter.Sometimes I get confused when it comes to stressed and unstressed syllables.How the words sound and feel resonating in my ear,and how the words are to be written vary. I am confused at times.I do need to.try harder when time permits.Tnks for offering help,Craig. : )

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  1. Date: 1/14/2014 8:22:00 PM
    Most people who read poetry aren't going to care about meter. They want to feel something, identify and resonate with the words. A well written poem doesn't need meter to be exceptional. If a poem falls flat, it's because it's too complicated or not interesting to the reader.

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  1. Date: 1/14/2014 7:53:00 PM
    When I hear myself speak, where "I" put the stress on a word is completely different to where the dictionary puts the stress. I can't remember which poet on the soup said this but they'd been to Canada and found this to be inherently true of Canadians (Chris, yes or no?) I have to really really work on meter... I quite literally have to reverse my thinking as to what is stressed and what isn't in order to write it. My most "natural" poetic style is to literally fall in and out of meter, sometimes even alternate lines purposefully or occasionally put in one metered line in a free verse, just for effect. Meter is an aspect of poetry, ONE device, but poetry is more than meter.

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  1. Date: 1/14/2014 7:30:00 PM
    Interesting observations, Craig: "The inherent problem is that when we read what we write, we read it in the meter we desire, when it actually is not."(I took the liberty of adding a few commas ha!). I think it would be cool if you added the examples of changes into this blog or other blogs(as Debbie asked below).

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  1. Date: 1/14/2014 7:04:00 PM
    Okies Craig mark this quatrain up [show where the accents are as you see] I know it is not in a consistent meter, put it in the body of your blog then let's play!Without reason rhyme would not be sublime./Un-metered runs of tale-tossed words, un-timed/ would reasonably scatter like broken chimes,/ petering-out upon the parchment page of springtime.

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