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Verse, Meter, and Rhyme

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Kevin Gacka

on 18 February 2016

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Transcript of Verse, Meter, and Rhyme

A History of Poetry and its Forms
Verse, Meter, and Rhyme
Where have we been?
Free Verse
a form of poetry that does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.
"No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job."
-T.S. Eliot
*What have you used in your poetry so far, so
that it is not truly "free"?
What is rhyme?
Words that sound the same!
Types of rhyme
Perfect rhyme
Type of rhyme most often recognized. Rhyming words have the same sound.
moon and June; sigh and cry; dream and scheme
Near rhyme or slant rhyme
With this kind of rhyme the sound of the two words is close but not exact.
read and red; seal and sail; ball and bell
Perfect Rhyme example
A.E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
Near Rhyme example
Stevie Smith
Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Where to rhyme?
End rhyme
Rhyme in which the words at the end of the line rhyme
Internal Rhyme
Rhyme in the middle and end of a line
The splendor falls on the castle walls
And the snowy summits old in story;
The long light shakes across the lakes
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.

-From "Blow, Bugle, Blow" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Eminem and internal rhyme.
Accent and Meter
Accents in a poem give the poem rhythm. There are strong and weak accents also known as stressed and unstressed syllables in each word.


The syllable of a word that is emphasized with breath and tone as we say it out loud.
Syllables of a word that are not emphasized.
Two symbols are commonly used to indicate stressed and unstressed syllables:
You try!
One syllable words (a, an, the, etc.) are generally weak words (unstressed).
Meter- The rhythm in a poem, determined by the number and type of feet in a line of poetry

One unit of the rhythmic pattern that makes up the meter
Example from Will Shakespeare:
So oft have I invok'd thee for my muse.
Each one of these sections is one foot.
A foot composed of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is called an iamb.
This line is written in iambic pentameter.
*penta (5)
Shakespeare was all about iambic pentameter.
William Shakespeare - Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Types of Verse
*"Meter and rhyme, and their complex intertwining, are at the core of all the forms of traditional verse."

-from Literature and Its Writers
The Ballad
The Lyric Poem
The Ode
The Elegy
The Sonnet
The ballad
Narrative poem, folk tradition.
The lyric poem
1st person, personal, emotional
The ode
Poem of praise
The elegy
Written to lament someone's death.
The sonnet
Short but rich form of poetry.
Poetic Feet:
The major feet are:





Line Lengths:

monometer one foot pentameter five feet

dimeter two feet hexameter six feet

trimeter three feet heptameter seven feet

tetrameter four feet octameter eight feet

Poetic Meter examples:
Iambic pentameter:
(Five iambs; ten syllables)
That time | of year | thou mayst | in me | behold
Trochaic Tetrameter:
(Four trochees; eight syllables)
Tell me | not in | mournful | numbers
but of course!

Iambic Tetrameter
da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM
Come live with me and be my love
Anapestic Dimeter
da da DUM da da DUM
"And today the Great Yertle,
That marvelous he
Is King of the Mud.
That is all he can see."
Full transcript