Attempt a meter you haven’t worked with before

I hope that you will forgive me for rerunning information from last year, but in my opinion this is key material, especially because we will be discussing several poetry forms over the course of the month. I think that it is important to have access to some of the basic terms when it comes to meter.

Poetic Meter: Word structures that create a pattern of sounds, stresses, word lengths, syllables, or beats that are repeated to create a pattern within a poem. In English the primary focus is on stresses and beats, but all of these elements make for possible meters. Other languages often focus on different types of patterns.
Beat: The smallest reducible part of a meter, such as a syllable, a letter or a breath.
Foot: A repeated unit of meter, often consisting of two or more beats.
Stressed Syllable: The syllable a speaker emphasizes when speaking. Shown here in capital letters: CARpet, HABbit, oPEN, PATsy. Stressed syllables are often called long syllables.
Unstressed Syllable: The syllable a speaker demphasizes when speaking. Shown here in lowercase letters: CARpet, HABbit, oPEN, PATsy. Unstressed syllables are often called short syllables.

Additional Terms

Amphibrach: A foot composed of a stressed syllable between two unstressed syllables. This meter is most commonly seen in limericks. There ONCE was a HAPpy young PASTor.
Anapest: A foot composed of two unstressed syllables followed by a long syllable such as Double UP double DOWN.
Choriamb: A foot composed of four syllables: stressed,-unstressed,-unstressed,-stressed such as FIGHT for your RIGHTS.
Dactyl: A foot composed of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. HAPpily
Dimeter: A meter composed of two feet.
Elegiac Meter: A meter composed of two lines (a couplet) the first in dactylic hexameter and the second in dactylic pentameter.
Heptameter: A meter composed of seven feet
Hexameter: A meter composed of six feet
Iamb: A foot composed of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable such as TYrant. This is the most commonly used foot in English poetic meter.
Iambic Pentameter: A meter composed of five feet of iambs. This is the meter common to sonnets, epics and Shakespearian plays.
Molossus: A foot composed of three stressed syllables such as SHORT SHARP SHOCK.
Octameter: A meter composed of eight feet
Pentameter: A meter composed of five feet
Tetrameter: A meter composed of four feet
Trimeter: A meter composed of three feet
Trochee: A foot composed of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable such as PLAYpen.

You might also want to read the article Rhythm and Stress by Gwyneth Box. It provides a more elegant discussion of this material.

Today’s Poetry Prompt

Write a poem that uses some sort of meter. If you want a challenge, attempt a meter you haven’t worked with before. For an extra added challenge, try to work in the word belly.

23 thoughts on “Attempt a meter you haven’t worked with before

  1. Arriving at PD30 a couple days late, but glad to be here. I must admit that I hadn’t heard of some of the meter terms you listed above…very useful!

    I’m going to try the prompt on my own, but I’m not too keen on posting it here…

  2. My first attempt at meter writing….be kind!

    PS: Rosemary, will drop by your blog with my guess….does The Rabbit sounds familiar? *grin*


    The Rabbit

    From a man, you might get butterflies
    In belly; But what use is a man
    You might ask, if you had
    Rabbit from SATC
    Serving you with battery

    certainty, unlike men, whose service
    May not be at all times usage fit
    With no fuss, at right speed
    For your needs handily.
    So what use is a man, pray tell me.

  3. @ John: Ah. Killing bugs. Such a useful service. What happens if a gal can do that and more too? Pray tell? *wryly*

    @ Rosemary: Ah. Enough said. *grin*

  4. @Zoë: Welcome. John has graciously provided a prive forum as well as this public forum. Ask to be included, and he will send the details.

    @Sheer: I have caught my wife wondering something similar. If I am in a mood, I might declare that at least I am better than nothing. If she is in a mood, then she will grumble, “not much.”

    @John: I have killed many a bug and rodent at the behest of my wife, usually while perched on the highest surface she was able to scale in an instant.

    @Rosemary: And, yes Rosemary, she can kill with a ferocity that makes Mr. Sadam look like a chior boy. Although she seems to prefer me to do her killing and save her ferocity for the looks she gives me when I has missed my use.


    I know I said that I would refrain from posting much on the public forum, but I felt like posting a small doodle with meter:

    One day,
    the time will come
    whan all will speak in verse.
    But till that wond’rous time has come,
    I’ll keep my ramblings terse,
    and smuggly state:
    I’m done.

  5. Hello everyone

    Sorry to arrive to 30DP a little late, but down here in the south trying to avoid hurricanes made me lose track of the date.:) But I’m here now and the whole family is safe so for any one who said a prayer for those in the wake of Gustav thank you.

    Enough of that, on to poetic meter :

    I wake up daily
    to the rythm of life
    With prasie in my belly
    I try to live right

    I use each minute
    to pass the hours
    and I wont finish
    until the world is ours

    Relationship Rescue and Love Poems.coms last blog post..Relationship Information, News To Share

  6. This one was challenging for me. I’m a freestyle girl, LOL.


    A mind forgotten
    A word misspoken
    A hope replacing
    A night foreboding.

    Ripe for the chopping block
    Sick of the endless knocks
    Raised on the chimney tops
    Looking for time to rot.

    Cast upon the open sea
    I glance at the night released
    Mired within the starry trance
    I rest at peace, lonely lance.

    Kimberlee Ferrells last blog post..Day 3: A Review of Meter

  7. Rianon – yay! how ya been?

    I’m posting in both places for the most part – AND on my blog.

    Last year the Cerebral Mum responded to this prompt with a beautiful piece in Sapphic metre. Mine is by no means so beautiful, but that’s what I’ve attempted this time.


    Anyway I, missing the boat, did not drown
    thrashing wildly, nor did I turn in anger
    striding up the pier and away. I only
    waved as if calmly.

    Spring is now beginning to rain on all things,
    wetting even oceans and rivers, lakes too.
    Only I’m not adding to all this water;
    I am not crying.

    You can sail away on your ship to elsewhere.
    You can leave today or (I can’t remember)
    was it really yesterday when we parted?
    See – I forget now!

    When the years are thundering slowly, heartbeats
    drumming heavy down throughout time, through my time,
    surely no pulse echoes to your blood rhythm,
    nor will I dream you.

    Rosemary Nissen-Wade (aka SnakyPoet)s last blog post..A poem about finding something

  8. Dietary Fiber

    Peanut butter without sugar
    Swallowed down with diet soda
    Green beans black beans red beans pinto
    Turkey chicken red meat lean though

    I eat I eat I eat I eat
    Not sweet not bread but beans and meat
    White carbs bad carbs slow carbs good carbs

    Each day lasts a little longer
    Lifting weights to make me stronger
    Walking through the half-baked desert
    Sweating off the excess belly

    I sweat I sweat I sweat I sweat
    To far from the end to see it
    Pushing to be less than just me

  9. @ Rianon

    Welcome back

    @ Kimberlee

    Lonely lance…. what does that mean?

    @ Sheer

    False modesty is one of my most endearing traits.

    @ Rosemary

    Do people still part?

  10. Constantinople, Unconsidered

    Constantinople constantly contemplates coolness
    Restraints ennoble Flagrantly fouled April-Foolness;
    Constern da Nation: Achingly Pass da free Jewelness.

  11. a woman has a purpose
    like the company she keeps
    a woman has needs
    like the flowery deeds
    a woman keeps her ground
    like supply and demand
    a women speaks her peace
    like a woman has needs
    a woman can be bold, generous or nice
    behold the woman who asks for advice
    a woman has a purpose
    with the compony she keeps

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