Shakespeare’s plays are written in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter). Look at the following lines from Macbeth and note any obvious irregularities. Can you see a reason for any of the irregularities?
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I see many reasons why there are irregularities. It seems as if the written word was to express more emotions with them, or to differ from most rhythmical poetry, to stay away from “normal”. It also seems to set the stage for a second rhythmical pattern differing from the first, they seem to be separated by an irregularity and then a rhythmical pattern once more.
Play with rhythm & rhyme
“Write a children’s poem.”
One Little Piglet
One little piglet alone in the stall,
One little piglet he was oh, so small.
Daddy had taken the others away,
I begged to my daddy,
“please, let this one stay!”
And so, he did! My new friend can’t you see.
He’s alone as I am, no brothers for me.
We’re best friends now, no more lonely for us!
But now he’s as huge as a house or maybe a bus!
Bigger and Bigger I don’t care how he gets,
He will always be my little “bacon bits”.
Writing Your Own
Write a long poem with no punctuation and long lines. Then, write the same poem with punctuation. Then, write the same poem with punctuation and varying lengths and stanza breaks.
My heart may not know if one day to the next if it’s going to love or its going to vex time may move on and it may be all bad but I rather try then give up so fast for love isn’t a game and its not to be won just simply a prize that is bestowed upon someone for you never know where your heart may wander but maybe today it doesn’t go yonder so maybe you’ll stay or maybe you’ll go just remember this you are your own gold
My heart may not know if one day to the next, if it’s going to love, or its going to vex. Time may move on and it may be all bad, but I rather try then give up so fast. For love isn’t a game, and it’s not to be won, just simply a prize that is bestowed upon someone. For you never know where your heart may wander, but maybe today it doesn’t go yonder. So maybe you’ll stay, or maybe you’ll go, just remember this you are your own gold.
My heart may not know if one day to the next,
if it’s going to love, or its going to vex.
Time may move on and it may be all bad,
but I rather try then give up so fast.
For love isn’t a game, and it’s not to be won,
just simply a prize that is bestowed upon someone.
For you never know where your heart may wander,
but maybe today it doesn’t go yonder.
So maybe you’ll stay, or maybe you’ll go,
just remember this you are your own gold.
- Which version of the poem do you like best, and why? The last poem I wrote was my favorite, because it was easier to read, and write. I felt tempted to write and use punctuation, it did not feel right to me when I couldn’t use it.
- Which part of the poem did you enjoy writing the most, and why? I enjoyed writing every part of my poetry. Poetry is something that flows from the soul itself, so writing anything is an expression of the soul, and that makes me happy.
- Which version of the poem is closest to communicating the feeling and meaning of the poem? Why? The last version creates a more clear and flowing image to dictate the meaning and feeling of my poetry. Poetry seems like a block of words without emotion without using punctuation and spacing.
“Writing to Warm up”
We Real Cool
By Gwendolyn Brooks
The pool players
Seven at the golden shovel
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
What Shall I Give My Children?
By Gwendolyn Brooks
What shall I give my children? who are poor,
Who are adjudged the leastwise of the land,
Who are my sweetest lepers, who demand
No velvet and no velvety velour;
But who have begged me for a brisk contour,
Crying that they are quasi, contraband
Because unfinished, graven by a hand
Less than angelic, admirable or sure.
My hand is stuffed with mode, design, device.
But I lack access to my proper stone
And plenitude of plan shall not suffice
Nor grief nor love shall be enough alone
To ratify my little halves who bear
Across an autumn freezing everywhere.
Notice how different these two poems are in structure, rhythm, sound, and dictation. One poem is a sonnet, and one is written in couplets, but both are written by the same poet. Gwendolyn Brooks.
- Which do you like better? Which is more successful in fulfilling what it tries to do? The sonnet What Shall I Give My Children? Resonated more with me, I enjoyed it. It is also more fulfilling in accomplishment due to the fact it has more imagery, to submerge the reader.
- Brooks is quoted in poets and writers magazine as saying that “Poetry is at pains to select.” What does she mean by this? I believe when writing poetry, you select the words before you select the rhythm, I assume this is how she does it as well, making “poetry a pain to select”.
- Do you feel that you should study recognized poetry forms? Why or Why not? I do not believe I should necessarily study recognized forms of poetry, because poetry should flow naturally, I think knowing that there is “correct” ways to write poetry takes away the creative edge.
- Do you like to write poems within a metrical pattern, or write the lines in varying patters and rhythms? Why? When writing poetry, it usually flows onto the paper without second thought or hesitation. I do write some metrical patterned poetry and some not. It all is determined by the endless possibility of my mind, not by planning.
- Ultimately, is a predetermined poetic structure important to you at all? Why or why not? There is not importance to a poetry structure in my own works, I write what happens to flow from my fingertips, no predetermining.