View Full Version : Iambic Pentameter?

10-06-2005, 04:25 AM
I'm looking into this genre of poetry and wondered if anyone ever writes Iambic Pentameter Poems would like to try and write some but am unsure of how to start, any help or examples you could give would be great.

God Bless


10-06-2005, 04:49 AM
I try to. Most of my poems (some of which are on this forum) are either iambic or very close to it. It just seems natural.

As for as pointers? I'll get back to you on that. ;)

10-06-2005, 04:56 AM
Such things are rather hard to write Sunshine.
We've had so little practice in this form
Mayhaps your example will lead us there.
Recommend like Shakespeare you start with porn.

Madam, goodnight. Good luck with your effort.

10-06-2005, 04:58 AM
It's not a genre...a meter, rather. The thing that came to my head first is:

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

10-06-2005, 05:23 PM
Most of my poems are mainly free verse or blank verse. None of mine follow the Iambic meter. How many famous poets used it does anyone know?

10-06-2005, 06:29 PM
Well, William Shakespeare most famously. But lots of poets use/d iambic meters at some point. The following poem is "A Brown Girl Dead" by Countee Cullen. Notice the iambic verse, with some irregular lines. Some lines are iambic quatrameter, some are iambic trimeter. The entire second stanza is iambic; lines one and three are quatrameter...two and four are trimeter.

With two white roses on her breasts,

White candles at head and feet,

Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;

Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring

To lay her out in white;

She'd be so proud she'd dance and sing

to see herself tonight.

10-07-2005, 05:28 AM
I did some googling last night and I did find that Shakespeare used iambic in alot of his sonnets. I'm going to try a few on my own if I can get the form right. That poem is a good example though. I've never heard of the poet thet wrote it but it's good anyway.


10-07-2005, 06:02 AM
I posted up the last thing I wrote in iambic pentameter just now in the critique section, an English, or Shakespearean sonnet. Much used many years ago, the form is almost extinct :)

I actually much prefer rhyme and meter to free verse, and agree with Frost; free verse is like playing tennis without a net, LOL.


10-07-2005, 10:54 PM
I'm trying to do the rhyming thing. Most of my poems are free verse, because they're mostly about feeling, and I find it hard to write feelings in rhyme. I'm trying to work on the rhyming.


10-07-2005, 11:23 PM
the thing about free verse and also about rhyme/meter is that either way you have to truly think about which words you should use to best express your feelings/ideas/observations.

What can happen is some people get lazy with free verse, but equally so, some people get lazy with rhyme/meter too. Generally it is the laziness rather than the method itself that causes the failure.

Also, it should be realised that free verse is not actually without rhyme or meter, it is just that the rhyme and meter are varied/natural. free verse lends itself to change of tempo in a way that formal verse never can. This is why good free verse can tug the strings of emotion/thought in extra ways that formal verse cannot.

It might be likened to the difference between a private conversation and an oration.

It doesn't make one good or one bad - there are examples enough of brilliant and terrible of both.

Back to iambic pentameter, what hasn't been mentioned yet is to explain that the rhythm is 'unstressed-stressed' - and, what I THINK I recollect is that this is what 'iambic' actually stands for. the pentameter being x5 making

unstressed-stressed unstressed-stressed unstressed-stressed unstressed-stressed unstressed-stressed

more commonly known as ta-dum ta-dum ta-dum ta-dum ta-dum !!!

10-08-2005, 08:20 PM
Thanks Alphabet that helps out a lot!