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I expect that you are becoming experts now in the world of poetry writing aren't you?


I have taught you that we use iambic feet for writing poetry because they like to walk across the page.  So, tell me how many iambic feet you can see in each of these lines?  They are taken from different children's poems:


1   In the Land of No Ideas

        The people are so boring.


2   When cold winds blow across Earth’s face

     And drenching rain pours with disgrace,

           The frosted snow on hills doth make

           The icing on your wedding cake.


3    All hail to thee green baldicoot

      Who whistles whilst he plays the flute,

             Who lays the eggs, though he is male,

              And even reads his books in Braille.


4   There’s property to let, I see.

           I thought you’d want to know.

     It’s a gorgeous residential site

          Where cold winds seldom blow.


5     You’ll see it zoom fast past your face.

               You might see where it lands -

       But  try to catch it if you can -

               It's faster than your hands.


You will want to know now if you were correct or not.  I hope that your mother or father or teacher, perhaps, read these out to you and asked you to clap, and that they now can tell you if you were correct:


1   - 7 iambic feet spread over 2 lines (heptameter)

2  -  16 - 4 on each line of verse (tetrameter)

3  -  The same as for number 2 above.

4  -   14 - The full verse has 7 in the first half and 7 in the second.  7 iambic beats = heptameter.

5  -   Exactly the same as in 4 above.  14= 7 +7 and 7 iambic beats = heptameter.




Let me introduce you to something different.  diddy DUM diddy DUM diddy DUM diddy DUM.  This rhythm is written with anapests.  Say an a PEST an a PEST an a PEST an a PEST  This rhythm will give your poems a nice walking feel to it.  Quite often a poem will start with just one light beat or sometimes on the heavy beat, especially if it is the subject.  This is normal as part of our English speech.


Look below.  How many anapests are there in each of the following?


1 -  On four soft padded paws walks the Queen of the Night.


2 - A small bottle of ketchup, two bottles of wine.

     Then this herbal shampoo will help make my hair shine.

          A crisp lettuce, tomatoes, a cucumber too –

          And some carrots and turnips to put in my stew.


3 -  Autumn is wearing her bright golden crown

      For this morning she’s coming to visit our town,

           And Wind, her best friend, will be joining her too.

            Will they have a nice day and just what will they do?


1 - On four SOFT padded PAWS walks the QUEEN of the NIGHT = 4


2 - 4 on each line x 4 lines = 16.  Four on each line x 4 = tetrameter, so anapestic tetrameter.


3 -  This poem has the same number as 2 above, but note that we start on the heavy beat which, of course, is the subject.


These are the two main rhythms for poetry and you can now try writing some simple lines yourself.  It is the daily practice that soon turns you into a good poet.  As with learning an instrument, you need to learn the fundamentals and then practice a bit each day.  We all learn in this way.


There are so many poems on my websites for you all to read, but above all, to listen to as well.  Go to my Listening Page and do a bit of listening every day.  This will help you most of all.