I am Ava of http://www.verseinanutshell.wordpress.com and I will being co-writing with CC Champagne. I will write this article every other week. I am very excited to begin this writing job. I am not much of a master of poetic forms so hopefully this will be a learning experience for both you, the reader, and me, the writer. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Comments are EXTREMELY welcome!
This week we are going to talk about iambic pentameter. This is a good introductory lesson because it is used very frequently. So before you can start writing like Shakespeare, you will have to learn to use iambic pentameter. It may seem a little intimidating at first, but eventually it will be as easy as breathing. (Okay, maybe not that easy, but you will be use iambic pentameter correctly.)
Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in both traditional verse and verse drama. The term "iambic pentameter" describes the particular rhythm that the line creates. That rhythm is effectively measured in small groups of syllables called feet. The word "iambic" describes the type of foot that is being used which, in English, is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The word "pentameter" means that there are five of these feet.
When two syllables are arranged in a pattern of unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable this line is called iambic. The English word "trapeze" is a good example because the emphasis is on the second syllable (tra-PEZE) as opposed to (TRA- peze). Another simple example is the human heart beat. The duh-DUM of the heartbeat is probably the most common and the easiest to understand. Here is a example of a poem that use iambic pentameter. This poem is by John Donne:
Batter my heart three-personed God, for you
As yet, but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend,
That I may rise and stand o'er throw me and bend,
You force to break, blow, burn and make me new.
So now you know how to use iambic pentameter. Hopefully this was enlightening for you. Once again, comments are warmly welcomed. I only want to get better. I hope you feel inspired!