Please DON'T NeGLECT I-AM-bic FEET
Let’s Practise: Four Iambs per line: (tetrameter)
Please DON’T neGLECT iAMbic FEET
Did YOU have TOAST for BREAKfast THEN?
My GRANDdad’s TEETH come OUT at NIGHT.
I HOPE you WON’T work HARD toDAY.
With HOMEwork DONE it’s TIME for BED.
My BROTHer’s ALways LATE for SCHOOL.
I THINK you KNOW the REASon WHY.
My DOG barks WHEN the POSTman COMES.
The LEAVES are FALLing FROM the TREES.
When CHRISTmas COMES I’ll GET a BIKE.
It's EASy PEASy AS you SEE!
With THINGS to DO, I MUST get ON.
EnJOY your DAY and PRACtise HARD.
Iambs from other writers:
How DOTH the LITTle CROCoDILE
ImPROVE his SHINy TAIL . . .
An EMERald IS as GREEN as GRASS;
A RUBy RED as BLOOD.
I WANdered LONEly AS a CLOUD
That FLOATS on HIGH o’er DALES and HILLS
Then after reading and writing about iambic feet for a little while, I’m sure that you, in the same way as I, will sit down and write a poem - - yes, even if it is very funny - - but your poem will be perfectly iambic in every way.
eg: I WANdered LONEly AS a CLOUD
I TRIED to EAT iAMbic FEET
And USED a KNIFE and FORK
Then look in Rhymezone and see what rhymes with FORK and could be included in a verse about eating. You’ll see the word PORK. So, try your next two lines, eg:
I CHEWED and CHEWED and SPAT them OUT
And MUCH preFERRED some PORK.
Then, on the same subject, why not try anapaests next?
An ANaPAEST is TASTy THOUGH.
They’re RATHer NICE on TOAST –
But PUTTing THEM inSIDE a POEM
Is WHAT I LIKE the MOST.
Come on, let’s try another subject now. You’re really getting into this and it’s lots of fun. That was written with7 iambs over two lines and it’s called heptameter. When you write four iambs in a line, and you rhyme each of the two lines, this is called tetrameter. Both are great ways of writing:
InSIDE the LIbrary YOU will FIND
Good BOOKS of MANy DIFFerent KINDS.
They SIT on SHELVES and LOOK beLOW
At CHILdren AS they COME and GO.
“Now HERE’S one,” SAID the CRICKet BOOK.
“I KNOW he’s SPORTing FOR just LOOK -
He'll WEAR his CRICKet CAP toDAY
And WHAT’S beSIDE him ON the FLOOR?
Well, you can finish this. I am quite sure that the boy has brought a cricket bat into the library and just laid it down on the floor as he has looked for his book.
So, have you got the idea now how a good poem is done and how the poet doesn’t just pick up a pen and write a sentence spiralling down the page, but, like a musician, actually learns a bit about the skill of writing first and takes time and puts in effort into his or her poem. You can easily spot those who don’t do this. Oh, it isn’t the good poets of the past. No, no, no. They did learn their skills and also kept up their practice every single day, of that I am sure, and we can learn from them. By understanding how THEY wrote, we can appreciate their skill and, as all humans do, we can copy their skill (not their words) and emulate it ourselves can’t we?