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We’ve got the beat!. Rhythm in poetry in general and in the works of Will Shakespeare in particular. Rhythm in poetry? . Some poetry has a very specific rhythm called “ METER .” This rhythm is achieved through the use of s tressed and unstressed syllables. Syll -a-WHAT-able?.

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We ve got the beat

We’ve got the beat!

Rhythm in poetry in general

and in the works of

Will Shakespeare

in particular.


Rhythm in poetry

Rhythm in poetry?

Some poetry has a very specific rhythm

called “METER.”

This rhythm is achieved through the use of

stressed and unstressed syllables.


Syll a what able

Syll-a-WHAT-able?

Syllables are the building blocks of words.

You say all of the letters in one syllable together.

When you move your mouth to say another group of letters, you are moving to the next syllable.

SYL – LA - BLE


I m stressed

“I’m STRESSED!”

You say all of the letters in the word “stressed” together in one syllable:

STRESST.


I m stressed1

“I’m STRESSED!”

Now say those two words aloud:

Chances are,

you said the word “stressed” louder and with greater emphasis than the word “I’m.”

That makes “stressed” a stressed syllable!


Word hopscotch

Word Hopscotch

…Think of stressed and unstressed words as the boxes on a hopscotch board.

The squares you land on with one foot are unstressed syllables.

The rectangles you land on with both feet are stressed syllables.


Try this

Try this…

Say the word “horizon” out loud.

How many syllables does it have?

Which syllable did you stress the most

when you said it?


H or i zon

hor- I - zon

“Horizon” has three syllables.

The middle syllable is stressed.

The other two syllables are unstressed.


On a hopscotch board horizon would look like this

On a hopscotch board,

“horizon” would look like this:

.

I

hor

zon


H r i z n

hŏr- i - zŏn

This is how you would mark up the meter of word “horizon”.

The unstressed syllables have a above them.

The stressed syllable has a above it.


We ve got the beat

Marking up meter in this way is called scansion.

The two symbols have names:

= breve (pronounced “breeve”)

= ictus


Now write your name and mark up its scansion

Bar bar a Jen nes

Now, write your name

and mark up its scansion.


We ve got the beat

Speaking of feet…

Sometimes poets use repeating units of rhythm in their poems.

These units are called “feet”

(a single unit is called a “foot”).


We ve got the beat

Common poetic feet:

Iamb: (today, because)

Trochee: (happy, lightly, yonder)

Anapest: (understand, interrupt)

Dactyl: (strawberry, obvious)

Spondee: (love song, ding-dong)


We ve got the beat

I am an iamb:

The iambic foot is one of the most

popular “building blocks” of meter

used in poetry.

It has a driving rhythm:

Da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM


We ve got the beat

Will-i-amb?

Shakespeare used iambic meter

extensively in his plays.

He worked in a form called “blank verse” – unrhymed iambic pentameter.


We ve got the beat

iambic pentameter

Look at the term above.

If iambic means “using iamb feet”

and meter means “rhythm,”

what’s the “penta” part for?


Pentagon pentagram pentadactyl

penta = five

Pentagon

Pentagram

Pentadactyl


I am a pi rate with a wood en leg

iambic pentameter = having five iamb feet

I am a pi- rate with a wood en leg

1 2 3 4 5


We ve got the beat

i

P I-

rate

a

WITH

WOOD-

AM

a

en

LEG

i AM a PI- rate WITH a WOOD- en LEG


We ve got the beat

that

PLEASE

don’t

TAKE

DOG

bid,

is

its

RA-

BONE

that DOG is RA- bid, PLEASE don’t TAKE its BONE


We ve got the beat

o

LIND

these

TREES

shall

BOOKS

a-

my

BE

ROS-

o, ROS - a - LIND these TREES shall BE my BOOKS


We ve got the beat

and

IN

his

PARTS

TIME

plays

ONE

MAN-

man

y

and ONE man IN his TIME plays MAN- y PARTS


We ve got the beat

TRY IT YOURSELF!


We ve got the beat

Q: WHY DO POETS

WRITE POEMS

THAT ADHERE TO STRICT METER PATTERNS?

(like iambic pentameter)


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