Poetry Writing Exercise #4: Blank Verse

Discussion related to the topic Poetry Writing Exercise #4: Blank Verse

Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #4: Blank Verse

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 12, 2010 at 4:28 AM 
Blank verse is poetry which has a specific meter (rhythm) but no rhymes. Blank verse relies on more subtle things like imagery, metaphors and similes, and even alliteration (which you practiced last week).

Blank verse is typically written in a meter called iambic pentameter. You know what iambic means, because we talked about that the very first week; iambic means an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Pentameter means that there are five iambs in a line.

To start off, let's focus on just writing two lines of blank iambic pentameter. In other words, two lines, no rhymes, 5 iambs per line.

for EV'ry POem IN this VAST old WORLD
a MULTiTUDE will NEVer UNderSTAND.

Note that in each line, there are 5 stressed syllables and 5 unstressed syllables.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jun 12, 2010 at 5:02 AM 
oh CARL and CATHy THEY are QUITE capRIcious
as FRIENDS we GET to SEE them OFten LAUGHing

~Edited by R. Wesley Lovil, Jun 12, 2010 at 7:48 AM

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 12, 2010 at 5:15 AM 
Quote
our CATHy and CARL are a CAPricious COUPle of FRIENDS
and as FRIENDS we so LIKE to see THEM as freQUENtly as POSSible

There are a few things here...

"Capricious" is actually pronounced capRIcious, with the accent on the second syllable.

Similarly, "frequently" is pronounced "FREquentLY."

It looks like you're working at anapestic instead of iambic; you mostly have pairs of unstressed between each stressed. The whole thing could be turned iambic with some judicious adjustment of wording...

our CARL and CATHy, QUIRKy PAIR of FRIENDS,
oh, HOW we LONG to SEE them FREquentLY.

I couldn't see a way to make it work using "capricious", so I changed it to "quirky" which is similar in meaning, but perhaps not the best word choice. The fun thing about this is that there are always multiple ways to say the same thing, and it's like a puzzle trying to work it out. :)

Laura
Posted at: Jun 12, 2010 at 3:55 PM 
Did I ever tell you about having to write a long blank verse poem in poetry class, and also having to use it for a "revision" exercise? I probably had to "revise" it 3 times, and it just got worse and worse each time... I think the whole thing about not being allowed to rhyme really threw me off.

BUT, I will buck up and try it anyway...

my LOVEless ACtions DRIFT like WATer MIST,
obSCURing VIEW for EVery CAREful EYE.


Douglas
Posted at: Jun 13, 2010 at 3:37 AM 
a POem THAT is NOT aLLOWED to RHYME
just LEAVES me FEELing DULL and SORT of...BLANK.

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 13, 2010 at 3:39 AM 
Quote
oh CARL and CATHy THEY are QUITE capRIcious
as FRIENDS we GET to SEE them OFten LAUGHing


splendid!

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 14, 2010 at 3:52 AM 
Here are two lines of blank verse I came up with yesterday:

The Man of Sorrows, Prince of Grief and Pain,
Shall one day reign in joy as Laughter's King.

Of course, I wasn't content to leave it at that, so I worked those two lines into the following much longer poem: Rejoice! Rejoice! (which is NOT blank verse!)

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jun 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM 
i THINK we REAP we SOW it's ALL the SAME
i MUST be NICE to NOT inDURE a PAIN

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 17, 2010 at 6:37 AM 
i'm QUITE aSHAMED to SAY that I forGOT
to POST some SHORT iAMBic POetRY!

Laura
Posted at: Jun 17, 2010 at 7:11 AM 
do NOT be SO aSHAMED at THIS, my FRIEND
for MINDS with MUCH upON them SOMEtimes GLITCH.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jun 17, 2010 at 6:16 PM 
as DAYS get WARM we LOSE our DRIVE to THRIVE
HOTter TIMES aHEAD a WARNing MEANS it

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 19, 2010 at 2:46 AM 
whenEver WARM and SUNny DAYS come 'ROUND,
i LONG to SPEND them ON a MOUNTain PEAK.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jun 19, 2010 at 3:31 AM 
i FIND It's HARD to STAY so YOUNG at HEART
if HEADS go SOFT and BARE and HEARTS go HARD

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 19, 2010 at 3:38 AM 
Quote
i FIND It's HARD to STAY so YOUNG at HEART
if HEADS go SOFT and BARE and HEARTS go HARD

love it! :)

lady di
Posted at: Jan 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM 
my PAGE reMAINS empTY for MOST hours EACH day,
THOUGH my MIND does ACHE from NUMerOUS word STORMS.

Douglas
Posted at: Jan 6, 2011 at 4:08 AM 
Quote
my PAGE reMAINS empTY for MOST hours EACH day,
THOUGH my MIND does ACHE from NUMerOUS word STORMS.

Hi lady di! When I try reading this out loud, here's how I hear the accents:

my PAGE remains EMPty for MOST HOURS each DAY
though my MIND does ACHE from NUMerous WORD storms.

Reading it out loud is a good way to sense the accents. Just listen for which syllables have a "strong" sound.

gabemay
Posted at: Mar 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM 
Oh LOOK at WHAT I so UNknowINGly STARted! thats horrible i just know it
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