A Look at Prosody

Original Lines:

When the sunlight’s soft yellow
Coloring leaves red and brown
When the sky is tinted blue
Piercing tall pines dark green
When pumpkins and marigolds
Seem to get more than their share–

Changing them to iambic trimeter lines

The morning’s yellow light
With shadows soft and gray
Make autumn’s color dance
As through the leaves they play

The pines stand tall and green
The sky, a brilliant blue
The orangy blast of pumpkins
Explodes a hearty hue

12 thoughts on “A Look at Prosody

  1. The rewrite of your poem highlights the scene so brightly. I see it all just as here in RI in the autumn. I was timid about trying to be conscious of meter but this example tempts me to post a piece. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for posting and commenting. I hope this helps you understand and be able to use these poetic devices in your work and thank you for visiting here. Shan’s post today was excellent and provided a good exercise for discussing prosody at more length. I invite you to visit her link too. Thanks, Gay

  3. A significant difference between the 2 forms. the second is definitely more “musical”‘ and stirs joyful emotions and heart flutters for me. I may to try this out even though i still struggle with iambs 😦 Thanks, for the post over at onestop, gay.

  4. Enjoyed the writing, painted the picture well. I found your poem from the One Stop Poetry, the iambic trimeter is a nice take on it, but I think I like the freeverse better. I swear that while reading iambic I can almost feel limitations in the reading like writers choose words that fit rather than flow for the poem itself.

  5. Thank you all for coming by to read my little effort. I wanted to have a few lines up as an example of what I’d posted today in my article on OneStopPoetry.

    There seems to be a desire from poets, even if they don’t write or even want to write anything but free verse (the voice of our age), to learn about forms. They seem to want to understand the difficulty and be able to explicate the poems of other eras and the literary heritage we have inherited from Chaucer to our fellow poets here on their blog sites. That’s why I thought we should begin with basic prosody.

    So even if we don’t write it ourselves, trying to create a few lines is useful for understanding how much time and effort went into the creation of works by Milton, Byron, Keats, Yeats and other poets who worked in forms. There was a reason why some of them were the rock stars of their era – notably Byron and Browning whose names alone made women swoon.

    Soon I want to take up free verse on Form Mondays and mix up conversations about it as well as talking about these older set form type of poems. I believe free verse has almost as many ways of being approached as there are poets writing it. But what makes it good and what makes it poetry? What separates it from prose? Does it meet the standards of a Neruda, an Eliot, and Ezra Pound a Wallace Stevens; and how does a poem mean, really?

    Give that some thought as you write and let me know down the way.

  6. wonderful example at Prosody at work…it helps me to pinpoint why I’m not a fan of the ‘song’ that sometimes it invokes, i.e. it gives too much of an old world feel. I believe we live in a world that moves fast and furious with snippets of contemplation intermixed.. snapshots of word to image; your first poem reflects that, ergo, to me that is the poetry for today…. a very uneducated synopsis mind you, but one that I can toss out for pondering. btw, thank you so much for your kinds help on mine, I’ve issued a reply as well on my site. Cheers ~ angela

  7. Hi, I guess I misunderstood the timetable for posting rewrites. Since I’m slow as a turtle I just finished mine but am unable to link back to my blog on the One Stop Poetry page. Can you help?

    • Hi Ann. Just now getting to the computer. Had grocery shopping etc this morning. I think I see you made it to the page as both notes are posted there and you probably have the link but here it is again: http://onestoppoetry.com/page/2 and you probably read my notes posted there. I also posted notes on others’ blogs about upcoming discussions regarding free verse. I won’t repeat them here but have a look. I think there were some very distinctive and unusual posts linked to yesterday’s article. Thanks. Gay

      PS I’ll try to get round to your blog as soon as I can.

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