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Passions in Poetry

My first (short) poem in trochaic tetrameter(I think)

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freeand2sexy
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25 posted 02-19-2009 11:23 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

NOOOOOOOOO!!!! (Sorry for my lack of enthusiasm on blank verse)

Fine, I'll do it, there are three things though

First let me tell you it's going to take a while (only because I'll have to force myself)

Second Iím not going to like it

And third, it's going to be extremely hard not to rhyme (it just comes naturally) so it's going to take longer than I wish it would.

So one question, if it ends up rhyming in certain places (without me trying of course) is that bad? (Are points going to get knocked off?)

And wait 50 lines?

Holy smokes! I guess I better go make sure I have coffee, aspirin, a wet towel, oh and pillows to put around my chair in case I faint.

Wish me good luck, I definitely need it.

(I'm crying inside you just can't tell)


With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
freeand2sexy
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26 posted 02-19-2009 01:26 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

I have another question, can the word 'you', be stressed?

(Got 15 lines down already)(still crying inside, though)

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
moonbeam
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27 posted 02-19-2009 03:00 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Well good for you Christine doing this     .  My Mom always used to say cod liver oil was good for me (I'm still not convinced), I used to hate it, but I daresay she might have been right.

Anyway it sounds like you are doing ok - 15 lines already is going some!  Yep, the occasional end-rhyme is fine especially if it is separated by a few lines from its mate.

Your question about "you" is a good one and shows that you are already benefiting from this exercise because it raises an important point.  Some might disagree with what I'm about to say but most probably wouldn't and moreover this view is supported by Robert Pinsky in his excellent books "The Sounds of Poetry" which you really should try and get from your library or secondhand bookstore, it's only a little book.  In fact if you have $4 you could buy it here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0374526176/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=us   ed

So, Pinsky says, and I quote:

"I'll focus more minutely for a moment.  Here is an English sound:

it

In the nature of the English language, the sound, which happens also to be a one syllable word, is neither stressed nor unstressed, by itself.  It is neither short nor long, by itself.

The sound is conventionally stressed, relative to the syllables near it, when one says "bitter" or "reiterate" or "she had wit".  It is conventionally unstressed when one says "italicize" or "rabbit" or "Pat had it".

These examples demonstrate a useful principle: the stress on a syllable in English is not inherent in the sound, but relative.  A syllable is stressed or unstressed only in relation to the syllables around it."

I hope this goes some way to answering your question Christine.  The fact is that a syllable may be unstressed in one sentence and stressed in another depending upon the expectation of patterning that the ear is expecting to hear in a particular phrase or poem.  

In the following extract the predominant meter is DUM da da (or if you want, dactylic) "you" and "your" usually fall in the unstressed part of the dactylic foot, but not that even the syllable "lights" which would normally be stressed is allowed by the mind to pass as unstressed, simply because the mind is by that stage expecting it to be.

Print on my gaze your Perpetua promises
Courier kisses brush over my eyes,
Bold me your feeling and show me how strong this is,                                  
Arial chatter in micro soft skies.

Turn on your word wrap and clothe me in fantasy,
Justify us to the centre of all,
Lift me to highlights you know that I want to see,
Save me in memory, don't let me fall.

Now look at a couple of Shakespeare's sonnets:

I (Sonnet 1)

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And tender churl mak'st waste in n i g g arding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

II (Sonnet 2)

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

As you know traditionally sonnets are written in iambic pentameter.  Study this line:

Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel

and these:

This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

Could you scan them:

thy SELF thy FOE, to THY sweet (or SWEET) SELF too CRUEL

and:

this WERE to BE new MADE when THOU are OLD
and SEE thy BLOOD warm WHEN thou FEEL'ST it COLD

In the first line "thy" is both stressed and unstressed depending on its relative position in the line.

In the other lines "thou" (or "you" in modern language) is both stressed and unstressed.

Does this answer your question Christine.

Keep taking the aspirin!

M

freeand2sexy
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28 posted 02-19-2009 03:49 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Yes my question has been answered. Thank you very much, it actually makes sence.

(got to line 17, but now stuck in the mud)

I'm having a problem with line 16, will i be cheating if i asked you for help on this line,

So sly and cunning, why would you, my sweet

I want it to be read like this

So SLY and CUNN ing, WHY would YOU, my SWEET


but I'm afraid it won't be read like that, do you know what I did wrong

And if you feel like I should figure it out on my own, then please tell me so and I will try.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

moonbeam
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29 posted 02-19-2009 03:56 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

It's absolutely fine Christine.  Like I said up above, if the expectation of iambic rhythm has been set up then there is no question that "you" would be read as a stressed syllable.  You can leave it exactly as it is.
freeand2sexy
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30 posted 02-19-2009 04:36 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

okay good, now I just need to keep the story or theme or message consistent throught the 50 lines(I'm honestly not sure what it is so far, I think it's a story)

And um, so far I don't think my problem is the meter, but I'm going to keep trying to get this blank verse down.

(got 21 lines down, but confused on where I'm going with this story.)

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

Falling rain
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31 posted 02-19-2009 05:18 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Sadly to say I can't use the uppercase, lowercase thing. Its sorta hard for me to do words like that who are more then 2 syllables. Otherwise I get confused. Haha

-Zach

When I see your smile, and I know itís not for me, thatís when Iíll miss you.

moonbeam
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32 posted 02-19-2009 05:38 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Christine

Keep going!  Don't worry too much about the content at this stage - it's quite hard to do fifty lines of anything.  

Maybe when you've completed and posted them, and we've discussed what you did, you would like to have a go at something more challenging in iambic pentameter - a villanelle perhaps!  With this in mind I'll set you on a treasure hunt: see if you can find on the net two of the most famous villanelles ever written - one by Dylan Thomas and one by Elizabeth Bishop. Let me know if you find them!  You do all this simultaneously with writing the blank verse of course - but then ladies are meant to be good at multi-tasking, no?

Have a nice evening!


Zach

Don't give up just yet.  

You really do need to HEAR the way syllables are stressed in order to understand meter.

For instance when you say the word "Dolphin" which syllable do you think has the most emphasis, the "dol" or the "phin"?

Back tomorrow.

M
freeand2sexy
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33 posted 02-19-2009 05:53 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Ooh, Ooh, I love villanelles!

Oh, and I can multi-task with the best of them, I'm doing it right now, too.

And just so you know so far what I have written sounds like a monologue, which I think is okay, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

(got 25 lines down, 25 to go)

yes! halfway there.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

freeand2sexy
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34 posted 02-19-2009 06:12 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

The most famous villanelles I believe are,

"Do not go gengle into the good night" by Dylan Thomas

and

"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

moonbeam
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35 posted 02-20-2009 03:35 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Morning Christine

Yay to halfway.  And a monologue is absolutely fine.

Good work on the villanelles too.

Do you like them?  Which of the two do you prefer, and why?  Do you have any views on what the poets were trying to say, and more particularly why they might have chosen to use the villanelle form to say it?

M
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36 posted 02-20-2009 03:37 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Zach, not sure if you saw this - I should've posted in a seperate reply.  

Don't give up just yet.  

You really do need to HEAR the way syllables are stressed in order to understand meter.

For instance when you say the word "Dolphin" which syllable do you think has the most emphasis, the "dol" or the "phin"?

M
freeand2sexy
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37 posted 02-20-2009 04:27 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Yes I liked them, I favored "One Art" because well I had read it before and understand it better.

I think the other poem was about not giving into death or something like that, I'm not sure.

I'd tell you what "One Art" means but I would be cheating 'cause I read something awhile ago telling me what it meant.

Oh and I have 51 lines now but I'm still working on it a bit.


With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
freeand2sexy
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38 posted 02-20-2009 04:34 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

oh and I think they used that form because of how the message was to be read, depended on the refrain that villanelles depend on.

I think that made sense

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

freeand2sexy
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39 posted 02-20-2009 04:41 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Oh, and I'll let Zach know about you replying here, haha I bet he's sleeping right now, like should be..

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
moonbeam
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40 posted 02-20-2009 05:36 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes Christine, you are right all the way.  I like One Art too, especially the brilliant and poignant ending.  Though Thomas has a wonderful way with sounds that the villanelle brings out because of the repetition.

This is a good resource on One Art:
http://www.english.illinois.edu/Maps/poets/a_f/bishop/oneart.htm

Sounds like great work on the blank verse.  
freeand2sexy
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41 posted 02-20-2009 05:56 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

I'm almost finished, I hope I did it right it took me all day off and on yesterday, and I guess about three hours today,since its almost 3am where I am. I should really sleep, but I could always sleep in, I guess.

I have about 60 lines. I'm afraid that the begginning and end are not that good, but for some reason I like the middle.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

freeand2sexy
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42 posted 02-20-2009 06:40 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

I'm now official done with my blank verse and gonna go to sleep for 2 to 3 hours then post it in CA

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

[This message has been edited by freeand2sexy (02-20-2009 07:20 AM).]

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43 posted 02-20-2009 08:13 AM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Good morning moon and Cristine,

I say it dol-PHIN.. This prolly incorrect but I just woke up 5 mins ago so my brain might now be flowing.  

-Zach

When I see your smile, and I know itís not for me, thatís when Iíll miss you.

moonbeam
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44 posted 02-20-2009 09:00 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok Zach - perhaps I picked a bad one, this may be a US UK anomaly.  I'll have to ask Christine what she thinks.

Christine - dolphin?

Meantime Zach perhaps if we try another one or maybe two, how about:

kitchen

and

killing

Can you do those for me please.

Cheers

M
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45 posted 02-20-2009 12:40 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Well its not that I don't understand it. (Although I think that might play a part in this) Its just I learn through verbatum. I can hear a word and then pronouce it, unlike reading it.
The whole stress is confusing to me.

Also there is a different between "needing" and "wanting" to learn it. Sure I want to but I see it as too difficult for me to accomplish so I give up. See my problem? I pratically just screwed myself over huh?

-Zach

When I see your smile, and I know itís not for me, thatís when Iíll miss you.

moonbeam
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46 posted 02-20-2009 01:17 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Zach

It's not too difficult.  It's already in you, in the sense that if you can speak! you already speak in a natural and correct stress pattern.  There's nothing artifical about it.

All you have to do is learn to listen to yourself.

Listen to the way you pronounce words.

Can we take this a step at a time.  We'll just see if we can get you hearing the pattern of normal speech first.

When you say "killing" you don't say:

kill ING   you say   KILL ing

Perhaps it would help to talk out loud and practise a few sentences in a sing song voice putting more loudness and force on the syllables I type in UPPERCASE and talking more quietly and less forcefully on those in lowercase.

So here we go, try this:

the CAT was KILL ing ALL the MICE

as you speak it say the lowercase softly and the uppercase with force nodding your head forward to each STRESSED syllable like you were nodding to a drum beat.  You could also hit the desk with the flat of you hand on each STRESSED syllable.  Try to get a rhythm going.

Now another one:

a boy is writing many things about the world

a BOY is WRIT ing MAN y THINGS a BOUT the WORLD

And now a few lines:

is sheila frightened by the monster fish
or will she shoot the gun in time to stop
the shark from biting through her father's leg

is SHEI la FRIGHT tened BY the MON ster FISH
or WILL she SHOOT the GUN in TIME to STOP
the SHARK from BIT ing THROUGH her FATH er's LEG

You should be building up a nice da DUM da DUM rhythm, nodding your head forward on each stressed beat with a forceful emphasis on each beat.

Now hopefully you will be able to hear the pattern.

Is it working for you?

m
freeand2sexy
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47 posted 02-20-2009 01:35 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy


Well for me I get, DOl phin, but as I was saying it over and over it sounds as like you could say it both ways, we do live a whole 4 tof 5 states away from each other, I don't know if that makes a difference.


Zach,
I think your using the word verbatim, wrong, but I get what your saying,if someone could show you the stresses verbally, it would be a whole lot easier, my suggestion is to get a dictionary and there your can see where the stress is, where it's accented that's where the stress is. Just practice with any word you think of then look in the dictionary! It's kinda like a cheat sheet. Just don't get into a habbit of looking straight into dictionary, it's much more rewarding, once you understand it all on your own.

Don't give up Zach, you'll get it!


With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
moonbeam
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48 posted 02-20-2009 03:36 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I pronounce it DOL phin I think, but it wasn't a brilliant example.

Yes I picked up on what Zach was saying Christine, which is why I am trying to ask him to do the excercise of kinda chanting (see above).  But it would be much easier if he could hear rather than only read.

But like Christine says, don't give up Zach, try reading out loud over and over the lines I suggest a couple of posts back, it will suddenly come to you!

M
Falling rain
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49 posted 02-20-2009 04:40 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Okay so I read what you type out for the exercise. And after a long day I tried saying it again. Except I sang it out instead. Like...

"is SHEI la FRIGHT tened BY the MON ster FISH?
or WILL she SHOOT the GUN in TIME to STOP
the SHARK from BIT ing THROUGH her FATH er's LEG?"

And as once as I sang it out loud and gave more emphasis to the uppercase letters I could hear the da,dum,da,dum's.... Only problem is that I don't know how I would be able to write that into my poems..? Help anyone?

-Zach  

When I see your smile, and I know itís not for me, thatís when Iíll miss you.

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