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Meter and Rhythm. Creative Writing Mr. Way. Overview. Rhythm/Meter i amb Beat. Definitions. Rhythm/Meter: the arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables iamb: two syllables, one short and one long.

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meter and rhythm

Meter and Rhythm

Creative Writing

Mr. Way

overview
Overview
  • Rhythm/Meter
  • iamb
  • Beat
definitions
Definitions
  • Rhythm/Meter: the arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables
  • iamb: two syllables, one short and one long.
  • Beat: The rhythmic space of one iamb
rhythm meter
Rhythm/meter
  • When using strict meter, count syllables to make sure that there are exactly the same number in each line.
  • If you have to, spell words creatively to make them fit the way you want.
sonnet 29 shakespeare
Sonnet #29, Shakespeare

When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes

I all alone beweep my outcast state

And trouble deaf heav’n with my bootless cries

And look upon myself, and curse my fate

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply, I think on thee, and then my state

Like to the lark at the break of day arising

From sullen Earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate

For they sweet love, rememb’red such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings

iamb one short syllable and one long syllable
iamb:One short syllable and one long syllable
  • I want to show you what I mean when I say “stressed,” “unstressed.”
  • I want to show you what I mean when Isay “stressed,” “unstressed.”
importance of iambs
Importance of iambs
  • iambs are included naturally in the flow of the English language.
  • Some syllables are long and some are short
  • We tend to alternate between long and short, and do so intentionally when writing poems.
sonnet 29 shakespeare1
Sonnet #29, Shakespeare

When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes

I all alonebeweep my outcast state

And trouble deafheav’nwith my bootless cries

And look upon myself, and curse my fate

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almostdespis’ng,

Haply, I think on thee, and then my state

Like to the lark at break of day aris’ng

From sullen Earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate

For they sweet love, remember’dsuch wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings

meter rhythm
Meter/Rhythm
  • Sometimes, however, the rhythm is not so strict.
  • Just make sure the lines are approximately the same length, and that they have the same number of beats.
beats
Beats
  • The number of beats is the number of stressed syllables.
  • A normal beat is two syllables (one iamb)
  • However, sometimes you can squeeze three or more syllables into one beat

(two unstressed, one stressed)

  • Alternately, you could put just one syllable where two could fit.
    • Just the stressed one and a slight pause.
the road less traveled
The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claimBecause it was grassy and wanted wear,Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,

- Robert Frost

And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to wayI doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.

the road less traveled1
The Road Less Traveled

Two roads divergedin a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travelbothAnd beone traveler, longI stoodAnd looked down oneas far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as justas fair,And having perhaps the better claimBecause it was grassy and wanted wear,Though asfor thatthe passing thereHad worn them really aboutthe same,

- Robert Frost

And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to wayI doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.