Learning Iambic Pentameter

I am reading the book The Ode Less Traveled” by Stephen Fry.  At a point in the first section the reader is instructed to stop reading and get out pen and paper and compose sentences in iambic pentameter and I am working on it.  This was just to have fun and vent a little of my frustration.

I wish that pentameter wasn’t so hard.
I practiced and practiced but often it jarred.
If practice makes perfect then I will prevail,
though readers may wish I’d decided to bail.

I’m reading a book and the book says to cease,
take paper and pen and give muse it’s release.
Don’t fret about rhyming just count the beat,
so I’m tapping my foot while brain feels the heat.

Keep banging the keys but am I improving?
Can I make words fit beats and still be moving?

A more learned poet than myself commented “I WISH that penTAmeter WASn’t so HARD (iamb, anapest, anapest, anapest). That’s a fun and useful meter” – obviously I need more work on this but as with any tool it takes practice before it feels comfortable.  Back to the journal…

6 thoughts on “Learning Iambic Pentameter

  1. Dee Post author

    meh it’s a process…I want to learn to use the tools even if I decide they are not my cup of tea 🙂

  2. Carol Shoemaker

    Don’t knock it. Iambic pentameter and a sense of humor got me through a college physics class. I turned in a lousy paper on lasars and included a few verses “There once was a student who tried to learn physics…” or something like that. The professor liked it and kindly let me pass the course. Imagine a career in teaching English and (later) counseling drug addicts cut short by my “science disability.”

    1. Dee

      oh I am not knocking it – I just have trouble with it lol – that’s awesome. I will try to remember that as I stumble my way through it 🙂

  3. anno

    Who cares what a more learned poet might have said — this is FUN, and fun, I suspect is what writing poetry is all about. Sure isn’t the big bucks… Loved this, glad to see you trying something new.

    1. Dee

      oh it really is fun – but the learning is fun too…
      Sometimes it is inspiration to learn something new – get out of a rut. The more learned poet has actually been very supportive and helpful – not hurtful and I appreciate the time he has taken with me. Road trip coming up and I plan to spend some of the riding time reading and the rest writing so maybe I will make some progress if I can get it through my thick head 🙂

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