1. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.

    Metrical Writing Practice.

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by OJB, Jun 11, 2017.

    For there are a few people who are wanting to learn or practice meter, so I've decided to start this practice Thread.

    This Practice thread will coincide with my Blog: https://www.writingforums.org/entry/a-study-of-metrical-writing-part-1-introduction.63871/

    So please read that before jumping in.

    Works like this.

    Scan the person's Metrical writing above you, Post what practice lines you are on (again, read the blog) Then post you own Metrical writing. As the blog progresses, the challenges become harder.

    LIST OF EXERCISES: https://www.writingforums.org/entry/a-study-of-metrical-writing-part-0-metrical-writing-exercises.63933/

    Tell us which exercise you are doing when you post.

    I'll start off (I threw a few curve balls in there.)

    Lines: 1-10

    The dirty mouse, it jumped and climbed the wall
    And ran away from our cat. I bought
    Some cheese and placed some traps around To catch
    That dirty little mouse. A week did pass,
    And not a single trap was sprung. I hate
    That mouse! Today I heard a trap go snap!
    The trap had caught the cat; its paw now bled.
    I should just fire my damn useless cat.
    Another week had passed, The cheese was gone,
    The Cat was fired, and the mouse had won.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
    ladybird likes this.
  2. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    The dir/ty mouse,/ it jumped/ and climbed /the wall ( Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb

    And ran/ away/ from our cat/. I bought/ (Iamb/Iamb/anapest/Iamb

    Some cheese/ and placed/ some traps/ around/ To catch/ (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    That dir/ty litt/le mouse/. A week/ did pass, (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb

    And not/ a sin/gle trap/ was sprung/. I hate/ (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    That mouse!/ Today/ I heard /a trap/ go snap! (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    The trap had caught the cat; its paw now bled. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    I should/ just fire/ my damn use/less cat/. (This line was a little more tricky - not sure on the accent when I read aloud and where the emphasis) Iamb/Iamb/dactyl/
    /Iamb. OR

    I should/ just fire/ my damn/ useless cat/. (Iamb/ Iamb/Iamb/ Anapest



    Anoth/er week/ had passed,/ The cheese/ was gone, (iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb

    The Cat/ was fired/, and the mouse/ had won. (iamb/iamb/anapest/iamb)

    Then post you own Metrical writing. As the blog progresses, the challenges become harder.

    Ah, I thought I could post a poem by a published poet to scan for the meter as this was a practice thread. I don't have time to sit down and compose a poem now so would that be okay?
     
  3. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Hi, Lady!

    Two things:

    1. It doesn't have to be a poem that you post. It can be just nonsense written in meter.

    2. I am going to show you where you had some trouble with the scan.

    And ran/ away/ from o/ur cat. I bought. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    This is isn't a trick. For me, 'Our' is pronounced like 'Flower'. I am saying the word "Ow-er." Meter is basic off of sound and the pronunciation of how the writer is speaking.

    I should/ just fi/re my /damn use/less cat (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    Now, if you ever come across someone who says 'o-ur' in two syllables, chances are they are going to pronounce 'fire' in two syllables (Fi-Yur).

    -

    This concept of people pronouncing words differently than I, floored me the first time I learned of it, but it something you have to take into consideration. I don't know about England, but in America, The south, The east coast, the Mid-West, and West Coast all have different accents and speech habits.

    To give you kinda of a 'rule' it is the soft consonants (L,R, etc.) Following a long 'I' or a double vowel (OU) that is the cause of this.

    Example words: Sire, Dire, Wild, While, Fire, Bile, Prayer, Hour, our, Flour, Sour, Oil, Boil, etc. All these words (To me) are two syllables.

    -

    I hope this explanation helps you. As you read poetry, some southern and mid-western poets write like this.
     
    ladybird and Trish like this.
  4. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  5. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Hello Lady,

    90% of the time the Dictionary is going to be right; however, there is a 10% where regional accents are going to come into play (This is what makes meter interesting and fun.) Remeber, poetry is meant to be read out loud, so when we read meter we need to 'hear' it the way the writer heard it when he wrote it. However, regional accents can't be turned 'on or off', so once you realize how the writer speaks, you know going into their poems how to scan it (like now, going into my stuff, you now know I pronounce these words like this. If you find a time where I didn't do it, you know I made mistakes.)

    I will cover this concept later in my Blog. I haven't addressed it yet, cause well... people need to learn the basics in their own accent before they worry about reading it in other people's accents.

    At the end of the day: If you hear 'Fire' as one syllable. Then when you write, fire is one syllable. If you hear Fire as two syllables, then when you write you, fire is two syllables. What I can't do is make Fire one syllable in one sentence, and two in another.
     
    ladybird likes this.
  6. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    @
    OJB

    Post what practice lines you are on (again, read the blog) Then post you own Metrical writing. As the blog progresses, the challenges become harder.

    [/QUOTE]


    REVISION
    Sunset is Diablo's bloodshot eyeball
    it waits for wayward souls to stray along
    the way. Their faith denied or should that be
    in de ni al like an alki clinging
    in desperation to the devil's brew.

    Diablo blinks and darkness falls around
    their hope denied the path's no longer clear
    They stumble, vanity their vision lost
    Oh where is God to light our way, they wail
    His WiFi's down the thunder boomed in jest
    as lighte/ning flashed acrossed a jet black sky.
    The storm winds sighed: God only helps writers
    who seek creative's magic knowledge key


    Sunset Diablo's bloodshot eye
    watches/ and waits/for wayward souls;
    their faith in denial
    like an alcoholic clinging
    to their last drink

    Diablo blinks
    and darkness obliterates
    hope.

    The path, no longer clear,
    they stumble on their own vanity
    their vision

    Where is God to light our way?
    they wail.
    'His Wifi is down'
    boomed the thunder
    as lightening flashed across jet sky.

    Storm winds sighed:
    Don't you know
    God only help those
    whose creative spirit controls their
    ..................destiny
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  7. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Obviously, this isn't written Metrically (not that it couldn't with some adding/cutting/re-ordering etc.)

    That being said, this thread is for metrical practice (in terms of scanning and writing). I will post a Syllabus with exercises (I forgot to add these in my blog). But I'll give you an exercise #1: Write 10 lines in Iambic Pentameter (again, it doesn't need to be a poem, it could be a grocery list written in IP.)

    If you are asking how I write metrically? I do write a 'first draft' in prose, but I don't exactly reorder it. I revision it as being written in IP.

    -

    To keep this thread on track, I'll post some free-writing I did to be scanned (by either you, Lady, or someone else who dares.)

    -
    “ Across the river? Do you wish to go?”

    Did I? To leave behind the life I’ve built,
    Was Adam worth this price? Was Azure right?
    I wanted to be loved; that’s all I knew.

    I gave a nod and stepped onto the boat.

    The old man pulled the engine cord and said,
    “I’ll take you into the Twin Cities, love.
    That’s where you’ll find those singers and that man .”

    The Anchor lifted, and the boat broke waves;
    We sailed across the bay to lands unknown.
     
    ladybird likes this.
  8. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Apologies, OJB I misunderstood. Revision of original posted above
     
  9. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb
     
  10. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Hello, Ladybird,

    Two things.
    1. Scanning 'Did I' as a Trochee is totally an acceptable scan. While I intended it to be a Iamb, there will be cases where the scan is subjective.

    2. I've seen you had trouble with this before situation before in the last scan. There are two ways it can be scanned, but a trochee is not one of them.

    “I’ll take/ you in/to the/ Twin Cit/ies, love. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    or

    I'll take/ you in/to the/ Twin Cit/ies, love. (Iamb/Iamb/ Double Iamb/ Iamb)

    I'm not sure how far you've gotten in my Blog, but there is a substitution and variation post. In either case,

    https://www.writingforums.org/entry/a-study-of-metrical-writing-part-2-the-arguement-against-rhyme.63874/

    Part 2 of the series explains how multi -syllable words react to each other and mono-syllable words (The ideas in this post are the building blocks for double Iambs.)

    -
    I'll scan your post when I get home from work.
     
  11. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Thanks, OJB~

    I originally scanned 'Did I?' -then tied myself up in knots as it was a question. On reading it again I concur it is an iamb and trochee does not apply in this case :)

    I originally scanned Twin Cit as the stressed syllables but was not sure what it was called. So it is a double iamb?


    I better print off and digest :) I was a little ahead of myself with the double iambs.
    -
    Thank you
     
  12. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Kinda.

    A double Iamb (also called a double Ionic) is a Unstressed-unstressed/Stressed-Stressed pattern that occurs. So current Metrical theory is based on a number scale: 1-4, 1 being the less possible stress and 4 being the most possible. A double ionic is similar to Do, Ri, Mi in Music. Using my example from up above;

    in(4)/to (1) the(2)/ Twin(3) Cit (4)/ies(1),

    As you can see, with each syllable the stress becomes heavier and heavier; it ascends. This is what a double Iamb is, and why it can be scanned as Iamb/Iamb/ or Double Iamb. Usually, when learning meter people start off using the Greek terms (Iamb, Trochee, Spondee, etc) as training wheels, and once they have confidence in their abilities, they start using the number scale.

    -

    Sunset/ is Di/-ablo's/ bloodshot/ eyeball (Trochee/Trochee/Trochee/Trochee/Trochee)
    it waits/ for way/ward souls/ to stray/ along (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    the way./ Their faith /de-nied/ or should/ that be (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    in deni/al like/ an Al/ki cling(ing) (Anapest/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb (Hyper ending))*
    in des/pe-ra/tion to/ the dev/il's brew. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    Di-ab/lo blinks /and dark/ness falls/ around (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    their hope/ de-nied/ the path's /no long/er clear (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    They stum/ble, van/i-ty/ their vis/ion lost (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/ Iamb/Iamb)
    Oh where/ is God/ to light /our way,/ they wail (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    His Wi/Fi's down /the thund/er boomed/ in jest (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    as lighte/ning flashed/ across/ a jet /black sky. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    The storm winds sighed:/ God on/ly helps/ writers (Iamb/Iamb/Spondee/Iamb/Trochee)
    who seek/ cre-at/ive's mag/ic know/ledge key (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    A few things:
    1. Line 1 is pure Trochee. No good.
    2. Line 4 has a anapest? While there is something called a Headless Iamb, I don't know if I'd consider 'in' a strong enough word for that.
    3. Line 12, God On/ly could be scanned as a iamb, but, out of respect, a lot of people will stress the word 'God,' hence making this a Spondee (A foot with two stressed Syllables). Also, ending a line in A Trochee is a rarity, and should be avoided (Especially in Rhyming poems). There are times to use it, but it has to do more with the content of a poem than an actual rule of meter


    -

    I'll post something new to scan a little later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
    ladybird likes this.
  13. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Thanks, @OJB

    So this
    Sunset/ is Di/-ablo's/ bloodshot/ eyeball (Trochee/Trochee/Trochee/Trochee/Trochee)
    should be

    The sun/ set is / Di ab/blo's blood/ shot eye (Iamb/Iamb?/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb
     
    OJB likes this.
  14. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Yep!
     
  15. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Exercise # 2.

    The mirror showed a lip-less, gum-less mouth,
    a web of stitches, sewn from check to jaw,
    and droplets, from the ceaseless drool and tears,
    That clung onto the threads like heavy flies;
    It was a smile none would want to kiss
    And no amount of surgery could fix.
    Was this to be my face until I died?
    I flipped the mirror over, laughed, then thought,
    “Oh Christ, I wish his blade had killed me off.”
     
    ladybird likes this.
  16. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    It was/ a smile/ *none would want/ to kiss
    I hesitated because on my first scan I read NONE as the stressed syllable and 'would want' as equal unstressed syllables. I paused slightly after the word none because it felt the speaker had come to the realisation no one would want to kiss him. In the end I settled on WANT as the stressed syllable.

    then reading it again I wondered if I was agonizing over the word none and want when none should be no one which would make the foot an iamb
     
    OJB likes this.
  17. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Ah, I got you again!

    -

    That clung/ onto/ the threads/ like heav/y flies;
    It was/ a smi/le none/would want/ to kiss

    -

    2 things.

    1. I need to double check this, but I believe all compound prepositions you have the ability to shift the Stress on them. They are a very handy tool for writing meter. so onto could be ON-to, or on-TO, same with into: IN-to, or in-TO. (I have a big book about Meter, and need to make sure if it is just certain compound prepositions or all compount prepositions).

    2. Smile being two syllables (Smi-El) makes all your problems go away.



     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017 at 1:16 PM
    ladybird likes this.
  18. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Oh pooh,
    OJB, now I am totally confuzzzed. I have always been under the impression if the vowel is silent then it is one syllable not two.

    if smile is two syllables so is mile and tile. That would make reptile three syllables.

    LoL, I now count syllables in my head when I am trying to go to sleep instead of sheep!
     
  19. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Again, regional Accent. Just like 'Fire', and 'Our' could be two for certain speakers, 'Smile' falls under that same vagueness. (I know, it's mean)

    -

    95% Smile is going to be 1 syllable, but every now and again, you are going to meet an Asshole, like me, who hears it as two, and writes it as such. Damn Mid-westerns, with our crude pronunciation and speech habits (Such as ending everything with a prepostion)! When will we learn to speak clean, proper English? Never!
     
    ladybird likes this.
  20. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Where is the LOL button when you need it! :supergrin:
     
    OJB likes this.
  21. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Exercise #3

    Lady, or anyone else who attemps this one, I made this one "HARD." It has one of each of the possible acceptable substitutions in it.

    P.S. This is a rarity in terms of what I'll present. I wrote this one to get your mind thinking.

    Desiring desires of the flesh
    Feels like Fire in the inner thighs.
    I want to oil down his sour skin,
    And have a dance for our bodies pleasure,
    His Skin against my skin -oily skin!
    We’ll smile and, through our fire, dance!
    Dance, dance, like mad men praying to the moon.
    Awhile it will take for us to pray
    And then dance our sour dance at night.
    This madness never made a lot of sense.

    -

    Good Luck.
     
  22. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    @ladybird

    Here is your scan, also please in the future put all practice pieces in here, and not the blog. Thank you.

    The I/amb patt/ern stress/es me/ to drink (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    as stressed, /unstressed /have made/ me stop and think (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    and that’s/ before/ I try/ to make/ it rhyme. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    Da dum, da dum,/ I bang/ my desk /in time (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    just like a beat/ing drum, /or so/ it seems. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    I hear/ its pit/ter pat/ter in/ my dreams! (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    But Fir(e)/ and Smil(e)/ are not/ what I /expect (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)
    da dum/ or dum?/ I stress/ which one’s/ correct. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb) *
    As diff/erent ac/cents sounds/ and words/ define (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb) **
    this rid/dle’s driv/ing me/ to drink /more wine. (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb)

    Perfect, 100%.

    Two notes:

    1. Fire (FI-yur) if pronounced as two syllables would be DUM da.
    2. You use an Elision in line 9. Different can be pronounced either: Diff-rent or Diff-er-ent. This is different from accent as you are allowed to switch between the two pronunciations to fit the meter as needed. I'll be covering this concept later in my blog.

    Good job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017 at 1:42 AM
    ladybird likes this.
  23. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    I wondered about that. If you can pronounce 'smile' and 'fire' as either one syllable or two, are they the same as 'different'? (Ellisons)

    I'll scan#3 later today. In
    Any news on this please?
     
  24. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    They are different but still fall under the same ambiguous syllable count.

    You use Ellisions every day in normal speech and don't realize it. It is = It's is an Elision. We will = We'll is an Elision.

    -

    Fire, smile, etc, what causes those is when you have an L or R following a Double Diphthong or long I. This is regional accent thing because some areas don't hear the Double Diphthong as one sound but as two.

    -

    Syncope, a type of Ellison, is what is going on with a difference. This has to be more with speech habits.

    Here are a few everyday words people Syncope.

    Memory = Mem-o-ry OR Mem-ry
    Natural = Nat-ur-al OR Nat-rul.
    Ivory = Iv-or-y OR Iv-ry.

    -

    I want to note some of the more extream uses of Ellison in meter (like making heaven one syllable) are no longer acceptable. But using Ellisions we use in everyday speech is an acceptable practice.

    When I get home, I'll see if I can find it. I've been busy.
     
    ladybird likes this.
  25. ladybird

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    (Des ir ing/ des ir/es of/ the flesh) or Des i/r ing/ des ir/es of/ the flesh Iamb/Trochee/iamb/iamb/iamb
    Feels like/ Fir(e )in/ the in/ner thighs Trochee/Dactyl/iamb/iamb
    I want / to oi/l down/ his sou/r skin, iamb/iamb/spondee/iamb/iamb
    And have /a dance/ for our/ bodies/ pleasure, Iamb/iamb/iamb/trochee/trochee
    His Skin/ against/ my skin/ -o-il/y skin! Iamb/iamb/iamb/spondee?/iamb
    We’ll/smile/ and, through/ our fir/e, dance! Trochee/trochee/iamb/iamb/iamb
    Dance, dance/, like mad/ men pray/ing to /the moon.
    Awhi/le it /will take /for us /to pray iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb
    And then/ dance ou/r so/ur dance /at night. iamb/trochee/iamb/iamb/iamb
    This mad/ness ne/ver made/ a lot /of sense. iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb
     

Share This Page