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On Highly Structured Poems

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:41 am
Snoink says...

My first tip? Get OBSESSIVE over metering.

You see, rhymes will come and go, but what you need is a consistent metering. For example (forgive me if I use my poetry as example) in my poem, Bluebird, it's a 9,7,9,7 pattern. Look at the first verse:

Remember when we were together
And we watched the bluebird fly,
Its swift wings and radiant body
Melt into the autumn sky.

Now, look at the amount of syllables are there in it:


Wowie! And if you look throughout the poem, you will notice the same pattern.

Metering helps the poem flow just a little bit better. Mind you, it's hard to do, but it's worth the effort if you can do it. Just be careful about it; a metering patter of 13,15,13,15 would probably not be good since it looks too long. The standard is 8,6,8,6, though writers usually deviate from it.

You will notice that that poem actually rhymed. The second and fourth lines rhymed. You might be saying to yourself, "Well... it flows just because it rhymes. Why should I concentrate on the metering when the rhyming scheme helped the most?" Okay, you're right. The rhyming scheme did help. The A,B,C,B rhyming scheme kept things together. But before you start saying that rhyming is the most important part, check this out:

I go further down, hydrogen
Chokes me, binds me, there’s no escape
Such sweet sights, the lovely redness
Such vile end, the endless depths

Though there is no rhyming scheme, it seems to flow just because there is metering. This pattern is an 8,8,8,8 pattern. Check it yourself. Metering is extremely important, so be careful with your words.

Now! For your rhyming scheme...

Now, look at this verse, from another one of my poems:

Fear is shining in your eyes,
I see clearly where I lay
‘Tis a good mood to disguise
But I know too much your way

Pay attention to the rhyming pattern. It is a A,B,A,B form. So the first and third verse rhymed, and the second and fourth verse rhymed. In the Bluebird poem, it was an A,B,C,B rhyme. The second and fourth verses rhymed.

There's a lot more to structured poetry than this, but this is the basic of basics tutorial. ^___^
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:40 am
Abigail_W. says...

Thank you so much for the advice! I have a blog discussion about this at weblog_entry.php?POST_ENTRY_URL=35306

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
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