Poetry Writing Exercise #8: Iambic Heptameter

Discussion related to the topic Poetry Writing Exercise #8: Iambic Heptameter

Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #8: Iambic Heptameter

Posted at: Jul 18, 2010 at 3:48 AM 
We've already played around with iambic pentameter, which is lines of five iambs, like this:

i LOVE to WRITE when I am FEELing GLAD,
but EVen MORE when I am FEELing SAD.

Iambic heptameter is just like this, except that each line has seven iambs instead of five:

if I could WRITE a SIMple LINE that TELLS just HOW i FEEL,
perHAPS that LINE would HELP my HEART to KEEP an EVen KEEL.

As an example, take a look at Show, don't tell, one of Laura's poems in iambic heptameter.

Sometimes when writing in iambic heptameter, poets will break the lines into alternating lines of 4 iambs and 3 iambs:

If I could write a simple line
That tells just how I feel,
Perhaps that line would help my heart
To keep an even keel.

Here's an example I wrote which breaks the first line into 3 and 4, and the second line into 4 and 3: Unaltered Me

As you might have noticed, the typical rhyme scheme for iambic heptameter is to rhyme the lines in pairs (AABBCC, etc). Or, if you are breaking it into 3s and 4s, every other line (ABCB).

This week your mission is (if you should choose to now accept):
To write a poem that will utilize iambic hept.

Posted at: Jul 18, 2010 at 4:05 AM 

Posted at: Jul 18, 2010 at 4:52 AM 
It simply is a wise and healthy practice to be stickin'
A meat thermometer into your baked and breaded chicken.

R. Wesley Lovil
Posted at: Jul 18, 2010 at 5:32 AM 
How did I think that I could write a poem of seven iambs
Was that line seven or maybe eight the count it seems it climbs
There it goes again it's out of control there is no rhyme or meter
I put words in then take them away I'm not poet just a cheater

Posted at: Jul 19, 2010 at 3:19 AM 
The last two lines of this poem don't actually describe this morning, but it has been true other mornings.

Early Morning on the Porch

Posted at: Jul 21, 2010 at 1:08 PM 
Today I hiked a mountain and I swam a little lake,
And now to top the afternoon, I'd like a bit of steak!

Posted at: Jul 24, 2010 at 4:04 AM 
This one is ABBA rhyme scheme. By the time you get through those middle two lines, your mind almost overlooks the A rhyme because the rhyming words are so far apart! :D

It seems nobody likes iambic meter based on seven;
Perhaps the lines are just a little bit too long, and full,
As though pentameter had eaten extra syllables,
Or else, perhaps, was raised with just a little bit of leaven.

Posted at: Jul 30, 2010 at 4:59 AM 
Forum : All About Writing : Poetry Writing Exercise #8: Iambic Heptameter

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