Poetry Writing Exercise #2: Anapests

Discussion related to the topic Poetry Writing Exercise #2: Anapests

Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #2: Anapests

Douglas
Posted at: May 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM 
If you read last week's writing exercise, you understand that an iamb is a sequence of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

An anapest is similar, but slightly different. An anapest is two unaccented syllables followed one accented syllable.

So anapestic writing is writing which is made up of a series of anapests.

Here are some examples of anapestic sentences.

it's a WONderful LIFE!
it's eLEVen o'CLOCK, and all's WELL with the WORLD.
there's a BULL in the CHIna shop CRASHing aROUND.
i don't LIKE to be WRONG but it HAPpens someTIMES.

So this week's exercise is to write some anapestic lines. You don't need to worry about rhyming; just concentrate on the getting the rhythm down.

For anapestic writing, the feeling is almost like a waltz...three beats, and every third beat is accented. So cue up some Strauss and start composing! :D

Laura
Posted at: May 29, 2010 at 8:19 PM 
For an example of anapests, I always turn to "twas the NIGHT before CHRISTmas and ALL through the HOUSE / not a CREAture was STIRring, not EVen a MOUSE"

Just recalling that famous line helps me check to see if I've gotten the meter right.

Also, if you recall any Dr. Seuss, he often used that meter in his writing as well:

then he SHOOK! what he SAW was a SHOCKing surPRISE!
every WHO down in WHOville, the TALL and the SMALL,
was SINGing! withOUT any PRESents at ALL!

Note that "every" is another one of those words that could be used for two syllables or three, depending on what fits the meter. Also, some of the lines do start with only one unstressed syllable, but then follow the anapestic meter all the way through. Slight variations like that sometimes flow better...

Douglas
Posted at: May 30, 2010 at 4:54 AM 
dr. SUESS was a POet who LIKED to use ANapests.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: May 30, 2010 at 5:47 AM 
if we SING in the RAIN we beCOME wet and COLD
if we SING in the SNOW it is NEVer as BOLD
yet we KNOW when it's SPRING it is EVer so NICE
so we WAIT until the CLOUDS do so COVer the SKY
once the SUMmer is HERE all the SONGS are now OLD


Douglas
Posted at: May 30, 2010 at 5:54 AM 
Quote
if we SING in the RAIN we beCOME wet and COLD
if we SING in the SNOW it is NEVer as BOLD
yet we KNOW when it's SPRING it is EVer so NICE
so we WAIT until the CLOUDS do so COVer the SKY
once the SUMmer is HERE all the SONGS are now OLD


Very nice! You seem to be quite comfortable with anapests!

Two small things, both in the fourth line:

"until the" is three unaccents in a row...you can easily fix this by making it "'til the CLOUDS" or "until CLOUDS" (either abbreviate "until" or drop "the"). One of the fun things about poetry is that there is usually more than one way to solve a problem.

The other thing is not a meter issue, but a matter of cumbersome wording... "clouds do so cover the sky" sounds cumbersome because of the word "so".

I went to thesaurus.com and ran a search for synonyms of "cover"...

one possibility would be:

so we WAIT 'til the CLOUDS shall enVELop the SKY

wordsmith
Posted at: May 30, 2010 at 9:40 PM 
for a PERson so GIFTed in ELoquent VERSE
At that OLD anaPESTic i FEAR i'm the WORST

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: May 31, 2010 at 3:59 AM 
does the FEVer say inFECtion toDAY
are we SICK or is PASSion our PLAY
does it MATter to THOSE who see REMedy
oh the PAIN i say WOE is me, SICKness it's MALady

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 1, 2010 at 2:50 AM 
like a FAVorite GARment that's SOFT and well WORN
is a WARM cup of JOE on a COOL summer MORN.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jun 1, 2010 at 4:10 AM 
i see FLOWers of PURple on STREETS all the TIME
i see FLOWers of PURple on CARS as i walk
it's a JAC a ranDA you see PLAINly
and it's BUDS of a COLOR as no OTHER


Douglas
Posted at: Jun 2, 2010 at 3:56 AM 
there are TIMES when my MEtering SKILLS work quite WELL in the MORNing, but THIS is not ONE of those TIMES.

Laura
Posted at: Jun 3, 2010 at 7:05 AM 
if at FIRST you sucCEED then try NOT to look STARTled.

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 3, 2010 at 7:09 AM 
Quote
if at FIRST you sucCEED then try NOT to look STARTled.

and sucCESS that's long COMing is WELL worth the WAIT. :)

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 4, 2010 at 3:42 AM 
you know ALL things must COME to an END;
it's my LAST day of CLASSes toDAY,
and i'm TERRibly HAPpy to SAY
that vaCATion is JUST 'round the BEND!

Peter-Twitchell
Posted at: Jun 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM 
Quote
you know ALL things must COME to an END.
that is not true

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM 
Quote
that is not true

if you FEEL you must COMment please DO so in ANapests! ;)

Douglas
Posted at: Jun 5, 2010 at 3:01 AM 
well, toMORrow is SUNday and I'M quite exCITed to START on a NEW writing EXercise!

lady di
Posted at: Nov 28, 2010 at 7:59 PM 
all the TURkey and FIXins have DISappeared
TAKing up ROOM on my HIPS, i am FEARED!
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