14 December 2009


Visual Poetry by Individualist

Author’s Notes:
I have taken my time to study Iambic Pentameter and this poem is my first attempt at using this medium. Iambic Pentameter is a type of poem that defines the meter in which it is written. The word iambic refers to the type of feet used in the poem. The foot refers to the meter used in the poem. In Latin or Greek the foot is measured by the length of the syllables. In an iambic foot this is a short syllable followed b y a long one. When using this form in English the length of the syllable is replaced by the stress one places on them when reciting the poem or in the case of an iambic foot “da DUM”, unstressed and stressed. The pentameter refers to the five feet that is used in the poem. Classical Greek poetry followed the rule of five, “da-Dum da-Dum da-Dum da-Dum da-Dum“. This is the masculine format. I will not get into the feminine or more complicated methods of iambic pentameter most notably used by Shakespeare.

In researching the poetry I read several of the Shakespearian Sonnets and decided to mirror this one on the 14 lines of the Sonnet. Since the poems as written are not broken into Stanzas I broke the lines arbitrarily into the pictures as 4-3-3-4 and developed an alternating rhyming scheme where the 7th and 8th stanzas rhymed and then continued alternating. This was not the rule Shakespeare seemed to use in the Sonnets. Instead he alternated lines and the last two lines of the Sonnet (13 & 14) repeated.

I will note that I found this structure to be very difficult to write. The poems required the lines to meet a certain number of syllables and one had to try to write them in a way that repeating the meter was not awkward in addition to the normal difficulty of finding ways to make the statements rhyme and still have meaning. I have a greater respect for the poetic capabilities of Shakespeare as a result of this exercise. Actually I am misspeaking here. Of course one has to have respect for the talents of the Bardl, that cannot be in dispute. What I should say is I have a greater appreciation for the skills that were required for Shakespeare to write his poetry in this medium.

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