WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Poetry > Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons

Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons Poetry Tools and Lessons on the Beat. Your first stop for learning and help with poetic technique.


9&60 Ways - Blank Verse

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-05-2008, 02:26 PM
HoiLei's Avatar
HoiLei (Offline)
Draw, o coward!
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: "In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina..."
Posts: 4,797
Thanks: 183
Thanks 481
Default 9&60 Ways - Blank Verse


(I'm putting this one up early to build a cache here that people can refer to. There will be three mini-lessons for September, and one a month after that.)

Blank verse is written in iambic pentameter. An "iamb" is a set of two syllables, the first one soft (unstressed), and the second one loud (stressed). The word "attack" is an example. "Pentameter" means there are five in a row. Let's say a period means a soft syllable and a backslash means a loud one. Iambic pentameter looks like this:

. / . / . / . / . /

Sometimes an extra soft syllable is allowed:

. / . / . / . / . / .

In blank verse, the lines of iambic pentameter do not rhyme.

First used in the first half of the 1500's, blank verse took off in the 1600's under the deft hands of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Marlow's play "Tamburlaine the Great" has this speech:

Unhappy Persia,-- that in former age
Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors,
That, in their prowess and their policies,
Have triumph'd over Afric, and the bounds
Of Europe where the sun dares scarce appear...

And here is Petruchio insulting his servants in "The Taming of the Shrew" (Shakespeare):

You logger-headed and unpolish'd grooms!
What, no attendance? no regard? no duty?

Robert Frost chose blank verse to dignify "The Death of the Hired Man" (1915):

But have some pity on Silas. Do you think
If he’d had any pride in claiming kin
Or anything he looked for from his brother,
He’d keep so still about him all this time?

So give it a try! If you occasionally start with a stressed syllable, or add an extra unstressed one, that's all right. Little variations keep it from sounding like a metronome.

Questions and comments go in this thread. Your work can be posted as a separate thread with "Blank Verse" in the title.

__________________
"I just saved 100% on my car insurance by switching to walking!"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to HoiLei For This Useful Post:
Alex_M (11-06-2011), Juilingstar177 (11-11-2011), theshytype (11-17-2011)
  #2  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:30 AM
Alex_M (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Redmond, WA United States
Posts: 17
Thanks: 17
Thanks 0
Send a message via AIM to Alex_M Send a message via MSN to Alex_M Send a message via Yahoo to Alex_M Send a message via Skype™ to Alex_M
Default

This sub-section is wildly helpful, despite my having only read a handful of threads. I don't feel as though I ever had knowledge of poems or their structure, so this is wonderful to have.

Many thanks for providing explanations and encouraging others to try it out. Lord knows my public schooling did nothing to encourage such things.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Poetry > Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blank verse? 5teve Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons 5 09-01-2017 03:44 PM
9&60 Ways - Alliterative Verse HoiLei Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons 0 02-01-2009 05:01 AM
Blank Verse - Beetle on the Butter Plate HoiLei Nine and Sixty Ways – Poetry Tools and Lessons 7 09-12-2008 05:21 AM
Poem or verse. ablelaz Poetry 4 10-21-2007 06:12 AM
Blank Document gablo32 Poetry 10 02-15-2007 11:13 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:18 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.