Poetry · Writing

I Have a Confession to Make

I still don’t understand iambic pentameter.

Yes; I have an English degree, I write poetry, and I am still completely lost when it comes to iambic pentameter.

il_570xN.195015920I know it is a form of poetics based off rhythm. I know Shakespeare used it in many of his plays and sonnets. I know it has something to do with five measurements…or is it a measure of five beats? Or five claps? What is it with the clapping, anyway?

My poor AP English teacher tried so hard to teach me. I remember how she tried to explain it at least four times (or was it five?) in many different ways. I just never got the point. The motion of clapping out the beats of a stanza just looks to me like someone is squishing pesky bugs.

Maybe I’ll just never “get” it. Or, maybe I’ll understand it someday. Maybe one day a light bulb will appear over my head and I’ll shout “Aha!” and climb to the tallest hill in my area and shout “I finally understand iambic pentameter!”

But until that day comes, I am so over iambic pentameter.


2 thoughts on “I Have a Confession to Make

  1. You’re not alone, Amanda – meter is an extremely misunderstood and poorly taught subject!

    I have written some posts on iambic pentameter on my own blog page:
    They’re aimed at a reader with no knowledge of meter, and I break everything down step by step.

    I haven’t received any feedback as yet, so I’d be really interested to know what you think of them! If after you read them you can tell me that you now understand iambic pentameter, I’ll know I’ve done a good job – and if not, you could tell me what you need to make it clearer!

    Liked by 1 person

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