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Am I getting the metrics??

Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 2, 2009   #1
I am trying to understand meter poetry...I think I get it, but when my poem is finished it seems like the same 'ol same 'ol I always write. Detailed feedback will be much appreciated!

Little blue flower,
alone in a sea of struggling green.
Brown winds blow over,
throttling your last breath.
Breathe, and show me sweetness
while the choking gramineae protests,
and the sun smiles,
and you sing your silly songs.

A Good Life
blown in the wind
like the seeds of a dandelion;
merry unto the last hillside,
floating o'er the pond's
sprinkling sunlight
whispered memories blackened
by precious time
thoughts turn to living
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 2, 2009   #2
Yep, a 64.1 on my math test...in case ya'll were wondering about my sudden burst of fun-writing...ahhhh, poetry is so soothing to me even if it isn't correct.


echoing my soul
glistening water
waving to burnished treetops
struck chilled by autumn's warmth
and the memory of the promise of cold
like minds in that canoe
gliding through with no care for tomorrow
just the cold warmth of now.
bilal ABUZENAH 15 / 81  
Nov 3, 2009   #3
hi. I'm not a good writer, but sometimes I write just for fun and telling an implicit message.
If you notice that all my poem(paper) talk about something serious, and at the same time it is funny. thanks for reading them...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 4, 2009   #4
What do you mean by incorrect? There are different kinds of meter.

Listen to the words, having forgotten their meaning.
Sounds are soothing, stopping thinking, thumping rhythm
evening out my breathing like that tic-toc clock, and I -- wait a minute.
Stop. Make the reader wait. You control the meter, as the master of the song, where that line between music and poetry is blurry, and you have to be the one to make the call. Dis-rhythmic words are people too. So, don't let them impose rules on you. And if you want to be iambic, read a lot of Shakespeare, but you do not have to be iambic.

You get to express yourself with the meter that best conveys that feeling you are trying to share...
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 7, 2009   #5
"Dis-rhythmic words are people too."

I like that.

Thanks, Kevin!

************************************************************ *******


Your writing is good and will get better each time you write. I like the metaphors you use and the way you drive the message with irony and passion. Keep writing, keep reading. Soon, it will come easily. Blue skies!
bilal ABUZENAH 15 / 81  
Nov 18, 2009   #6
Thanks Jeannie.

I wrote a new poem, I'll send it to you soon.

blue skies:) "_"
pheelyks - / 19  
Nov 20, 2009   #7
what do you mean by incorrect? There are different kinds of meter.

This is true, of course, but it doesn't really answer the question. None of the poems Jeannie posted are metrical, and neither is yours. All speech and text necessarily has meter, but metrical poems have specified and regular meters (with iambic being the most common metrical foot in English for somewhat complex linguistic reasons).

Shakespeare wrote largely in iambic pentameter, but there are many other meters as well. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" has a complex metrical structure consisting of iambs and dactyls in differing arrangements, but there is still a distinctly observable and carefully plotted layout of stresses. Metrical poems contain a metrical pattern; the poems in this thread do not.
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 20, 2009   #8
Hey! I think I got it! Yay! I went and checked the rules again and saw that I had veered offcourse quite a bit. Thanks for the reminder, pheelyks! How is this? Iambic pentameter:

The sky marks true those times of flight unseen
to lose a breath at wonders begs to mean
we notice now a Truth so fair and bold
a lifetime in the clouds awaits the old.

And souls who would not see this fairest Truth
those wretched lives who lived in saddest days
spend ever in the wasted hands of proof
'till blueness harks and burns away the haze.

The one thing I didn't know was the part about the 10 syllables, that helps. But must it always rhyme? And as you see, I switched up my rhyme from one verse to the next. Is that OK? I am wondering how strict a form it is.
pheelyks - / 19  
Nov 20, 2009   #9
Meter and rhyme do not always go together; there is no form that a poem must take. Any poem that has a regular metrical structure is a metric poem, whether or not it rhymes. It doesn't have to be in iambic pentameter, or iambic tetrameter (eight syllables) or iambic anything. "The Star" ("Twinkle, twinkle, little star") is a metric poem written in trochees--trochaic trimeter, to be exact-- with an extra stressed syllable at the end of each line.

There are many poetic forms that have strict standards of both meter and rhyme. A sonnet, for example, has fourteen lines of iambic pentameter with several varying rhyme schemes. A villanelle (google Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" for a great example) is also in iambic pentameter with a very different structure. Limericks ("There once was a man from Nantucket...") have a very complex metrical structure and a simple rhyme scheme.

The form that is best for your poetry is whatever is best for the content of the poem. Maybe it needs meter, maybe it needs rhyme; it might need both or neither. That's up to the poet. One thing that should NEVER happen, however, is allowing the rhyme and/or meter to take over the poem. Read what you have out loud, and ask yourself if you're truly happy with the meaning of each line and the poem as a whole, or if the rhymes are reaching for it to the point that the poem is stretched beyond recognition.

Many people think that writing poetry should be easy; they simply put their emotions on paper and call it done. A really good poem, whether or not it has rhyme or meter, takes editing and craftsmanship. I only write form poetry (several sonnets and some other pieces) because I find the boundaries give me useful things to play off of, but I have only had one poem professionally published and I worked on it off and on for years--and I'm still not happy with it, to be honest.
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 21, 2009   #10
Thanks again for even more useful info! I have written poetry for a long time, never knowing there were ever any rules. haha! I still like that way best, but I want to know so I learn...

I have a poem published on poetry.com! Haha! They want me to pay for the book...sad to think I was really excited at first...

It is difficult to get a poem published (for real), and it must take a great deal of work for form poetry especially; that one little bit up there took me a half hour. I really appreciate your comments and your time.

I have one more question to do with your comments. When you spoke about the metrics not necessarily rhyming and all the different forms it may take, I was thinking about haiku. Actually, just writing an iambic sequence reminded me both of limerick, in a simple way that takes no thought, and haiku because I was counting out the syllables on my fingers. Have you ever heard of nrenyu sequence in haiku?? I may not be spelling it correctly, but I have a poem saved that I love, and I could never figure out the "math" as I called it then. Then again...I stink at math. It is: Oh, senryu. ok.

Marry Me

Here is the link to the poem:


Isn't that really beautiful? I would love to learn that poetry! It just flows perfectly to me.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 21, 2009   #11
Awesome, this is an important thread that I think I'll link people to when they are learning about poetry. Pheelyks, you are a hero, thanks for the great discussion; lots of students will benefit from it.

Jeannie, it's better than Shakespeare, and I don't care, I'll tell him to his face. :) The meter is right on, and actually.. all jokes aside, I have seen a lot of iambic pentameter that actually does not always stay iambic... sometimes an off-beat line serves a really cool purpose... to emphasize something or instill a feeling.

I had to remove that poem, because we are not allowed to have any content here that appears on other sites, sorry!! But, I found the link.

OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 21, 2009   #12
I had to remove that poem, because we are not allowed to have any content here that appears on other sites, sorry!! But, I found the link.

Yer the bomb! My bad, I forgot. I saved that in my "beautiful writing by someone else" file. I got it from the Tampa Tribune, haha (I hate that paper, but sometimes they do good). Thanks, Kevin, you are a peach, I am really happy you approve. :) Now I will go out and try some really daring stuff!

Pheelyks: I just read that poem by Dylan Thomas you said to read. Of course I had heard about it, but I had never read it...I grieve and wonder at the loss my ignorance has caused because that was amazing! Then again, I might not have "gotten it" back when. (time is a strange and wonderful thing, ya?) What brilliance! Gimme more!

Thanks again, now I am off to google The Raven.

OK, I'm back. Crimany, the guy was mad! As disturbingly tranquil the whole poem made me, sleep shall not step foot and save me, for I hear a flutter's breath, knocking at my door. snoring, knocking, scratching at my leg, surely not the door, the dog it is, nothing more!

K. Time to take the Boogie for a walk.

Awesome teachering I been a'gettin' here!

Blue skies! Jeannie
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 21, 2009   #13
This is something I wrote a bit ago, and I think I may have inadvertently stumbled (and stepped on) the metrics...

Sweating for the last few hours, trying not to think about the heat index
It's just gonna smother me!
Don't move, and listen.

Scratching, skittering, peeping, hooting,
peeping, yowling, chirping.
All those creatures adapt and sing
in shade they are a'lurking
Nighttime comes with a blessed sigh
and Boogie goes a'prowling
"Out of my Garden!", I exclaim,
when I hear no "peeps" or Yowling.
"That's yer Garden over there, and this is mine," I said!
yer not to go and mess up mine when that's your messy bed!
The frogs and lizards are my friends, I'll not put up with roughness!
Terrier's in yer blood, I know.
Over There to prove yer toughness!
pheelyks - / 19  
Nov 21, 2009   #14
This is not metrical. It would be very, very odd if a poem you churned out just happened to have regular meter--it requires conscious though and planning.

I can't explain meter to you very well over the forum; it's something that has to be heard to be understood.
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 21, 2009   #15
It would be very, very odd if a poem you churned out just happened to have regular meter


I saw it, though and decided I could work it into a metered form because the thoughts are already there in my head. Now that I have a new toy, I am going to see if I can't re-write it. I think it is ghastly as it is anyway. :) baby steps...

Psst< you explain meter very well.

BTW did you see the question about the senryu sequence?

'Till later!

pheelyks - / 19  
Nov 21, 2009   #16
I followed the link to the senryu; it's not a form I'm familiar with. I don't tend to like haiku very much; the form doesn't really translate from the Japanese with same effect (I've ben told by japanese speaking friends). They can be fun to play with, however.

Writing a poem
is like running in a globe
It is never done.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 23, 2009   #17
I agree Pheelyks! I think it is because of the monotone, even way that proper Japanese is spoken. It all stays mesmerizingly level and steady, rather than enunciating certain syllables.
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Nov 30, 2009   #18
I think I really have it now, look! I cannot believe I forgot to post this here!

The sky marks true those times of flight unseen
to lose a breath at wonders begs to mean
we notice now a Truth so fair and bold
a lifetime in the clouds awaits the old.

And souls who would not see this fairest Truth
those wretched lives who lived in saddest days
spend ever in the wasted hands of proof
'till blueness harks and burns away the haze.

The "ten syllable" thing really helped a lot, pheelyks! Waddaya think?

I think I lost it again...

And so we stand upon this earth and age
Not flight of bird, nor cougar's death; unfazed
Vile water sinks into the dirt; we pay
A price to harm The Mother every day

hmmm, kinda sing-songy...
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 1, 2009   #20
Writing a poem
is like running in a globe
It is never done.

blackest ink for pen
swallows narrow caves and swirls
nighttime garden grows

OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 1, 2009   #21
Hey Sean and Simone, I didn't mean to leave you out as my teachers of iambic pentameter! I just now realized that I started a new thread...so, did I finally get it right?

Blue skies!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 2, 2009   #22
It's great! It's my new favorite poem. a lifetime in the clouds awaits the old gave me a chill in my spine. If you were anyone else, I would google around to see if you plagiarized this from one of history's great poets.

I don't think you lost it, either... some words just make for more distinct iambic rhythm, and sometimes less.

Thumping meter sometimes sounds iambic
Sometimes, though, the meter's indistinct-ish...

ha ha...
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 3, 2009   #23
when days are darkest
feet firmly planted in clouds
yields visible sun...

...And if I could be a thought or a tree,
a tree I would be by damn;
for if in my mind a thought were as fine,
tonight I would sleep like a lamb! :D

...I like mixin' it up :D These are separate poems, don't yell. The first is 5-7-5 Haiku, and that last part is a limerick but still has the workings of IP.

Off to "nighty-night"...my Zoo is slanting me looks...
OP Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 3, 2009   #24

Cast clues and rope, my one true hope is caught
and in the reach my eye is pressed and wrought
to shades of thumping rhythm I go not
'cept in this realm where beg begins begot.

I hope there is medication for this sudden affliction. I'm talking about the metered poetry...:}

It goes on; these manic, insomniac, moments...


If I saw you in your naked soul
The one place where the winds don't blow
I would still feel the breeze outside
an island stands alone, alone
Atol, atol comfort me
stand against this cold
surround me in your winds of fancy
wave and sea and soul
bleed, Stars, freely!
Moon, send out your beam of light
to chase away this dark-cold comfort
and warm that which is right!
Or go, atol! Atol,
I need you now or cold
which is it to be tonight
a restless world or bold?
~Jeannie...g'night, no, really...

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