Elegiac couplet

long short short long short short long (m) short (f) short long short short long short short long short
long short short long short short long // long short short long short short long

even though drinking was terrible still i’m an alkie forgetting
troubles and family JUST STOP no more thinking of death

i can write hendekasyllabics too.

anceps anceps long short short long short long short long short

where does politics lead except frustration
and there’s still no such thing as quantity in
English syllables. They are stressed and unstressed
unlike me who can always find stress somewhere.

The last line didn’t really obey the meter but fuck it. I haven’t studied poetry in English but I’ve read enough to know that even in “iambic” verse there’s still room for a trochee here and there.

Rhymes are bad for your health — enjambment is
where it’s at. But with Too much Virgil you will
have Noun-adjective pairs enclosing the line.

In many classical meters you can resolve a long with two shorts, or substitute two shorts with a long. Try to put four syllables in English together without stressing any of them. Or three stressed syllables together with the same stress. It can happen, I suppose, but it’s hard to engineer it in verse and make it clear.

And no I haven’t started drinking again. I’ve been thinking about it though. I don’t like that.

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3 Responses to Elegiac couplet

  1. I’m ashamed of myself…I never managed to understand meter in poetry.

    • I think it’s mainly about rhythm. I dunno, though, I haven’t really studied it as such. That’s just how Latin poetry works–it’s all in blank verse. I’m developing an interest in it, though. I’m taking another creative writing class next semester. I should knock it off and just focus on graduating, but I find myself missing writing so much this semester. Eh, I’m not sure there was ever any chance of my ending up in a situation where I didn’t have to seriously rethink my whole life.

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