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Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Caleb Cheong
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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby Caleb Cheong » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:57 am

Hi Jan!

Thank you for your prompt response. I'm encouraged to hear from you. Yes, it's unrhymed-iambic pentameter, a maiden attempt.

We're finite

To those who crave, the food courts warmly bid
They serve us twenty-four hours day and night
Police and coast guards keep watch over us
While we sing, slog and slumber cares away
The lights at Seniors’ beam like brilliant stars
The nurse and doctors stand by all the time
Our gratitude grows- thankful they always
help keep us safe and sound, and live life well
The myriad thoughts that cruise our mind; our heart
beats, the watch chimes: We’re finite it reminds



Thank you.


Caleb

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby glorybee » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:13 am

Caleb Cheong wrote:We're finite

1 To those who crave, the food courts warmly bid
2 They serve us twenty-four hours day and night
3 Police and coast guards keep watch over us
4 While we sing, slog and slumber cares away
5 The lights at Seniors’ beam like brilliant stars
6 The nurse and doctors stand by all the time
7 Our gratitude grows- thankful they always
8 help keep us safe and sound, and live life well
9 The myriad thoughts that cruise our mind; our heart
10 beats, the watch chimes: We’re finite it reminds



How wonderful that you've attempted this rarely-seen poetic form!

Many of the lines of this poem are in perfect iambic pentameter: lines 1, 5, 6, 8, and 9. They each have 10 syllables, in 5 iambic feet (unstressed/stressed syllables).

The others aren't quite there yet--they may have the right number of syllables, but not the right pattern of stressed/unstressed syllables, or the syllable count may be off.

I love that you used "myriad" correctly.

I'm not clear what "Senior's" is. Some place with food courts, police, nurses and doctors--you might be writing about several different places--it's just not clear.

The final images--the heart beat and the watch reminding us that we are finite--is very pleasing.
Jan Ackerson

Caleb Cheong
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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby Caleb Cheong » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:34 am

Hi Jan!


Thank you for the feedback! Wow, it's 5/10, managed to pass.

I need to work at your advice much harder from now onwards.


Incidentally, the Seniors' refers to the Homes for the elderly, trying to keep to 5 feet per line by removing some words.



My grateful thanks to you. Have a very joyous holiday!


Blessings

Caleb

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby CatLin » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:30 pm

Here's a quickie, typed right into the comment box, just because I wanted to show myself that I still CAN write, even tho it's not profound, memorable, perfect, or even "good". :)

I fear my day's done when my screen starts to ripple
Words that I've typed I see double, then triple
I turn out the lights and I stumble to bed
Only to find my brain full steam ahead

Cat
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby glorybee » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:15 pm

CatLin wrote:Here's a quickie, typed right into the comment box, just because I wanted to show myself that I still CAN write, even tho it's not profound, memorable, perfect, or even "good". :)

I fear my day's done when my screen starts to ripple
Words that I've typed I see double, then triple
I turn out the lights and I stumble to bed
Only to find my brain full steam ahead

Cat


And you're not writing--why?
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby trudynewell » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:17 am

Hi Jan,

Here's a poem I wrote as a teen - not sure where it fits.

GOD'S WORD - by Trudy (Peale) Newell

The Bible is the Word of God
Perfect, never changing.
Through the ages, still remaining
The perfect Word of God.

The Bible is the Word of God
Upon it's firm foundation
I'll build my life, and take the strife,
God's Word will never fail me.


It hasn't failed me, either! Trudy

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby glorybee » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:32 am

It's a lovely poem, Trudy. No rhymes to speak of, so I can't really comment on that aspect of it, but how wonderful that a poem written in your teen years still speaks to you!
Jan Ackerson

Caleb Cheong
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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby Caleb Cheong » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:03 pm

Hi Jan!


Can I have another go, please ? It's a 13-line blank verse.



Thank you.


Regards

Caleb


An unpalatable jam

1A bad road jam occurred on my first day
2 It soon began as my bus
 hit a lane
3 I thought the drab jam would soon clear-
But no!
4 It dragged
 on and on till we all lost count
5 We fumed;we phoned office to break the news
6 Through the wind screen 
I saw trees stroll past us
7 Behind long queues 
of slow cars our
 bus crawled
8 It moved at snail’s pace and arrived three hours!
9
I told my co-workers the jam- they smiled
10 Their smiles could hide a thousand and one thoughts
11The news even reported the jam at night
12"
The keen police caused a bottle neck!" 

13 Relieved,a colleague 
grinned,”Your tale was true!”

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby glorybee » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:37 pm

Caleb Cheong wrote:Can I have another go, please ? It's a 13-line blank verse.

An unpalatable jam

1A bad road jam occurred on my first day
2 It soon began as my bus
 hit a lane
3 I thought the drab jam would soon clear-
But no!
4 It dragged
 on and on till we all lost count
5 We fumed;we phoned office to break the news
6 Through the wind screen 
I saw trees stroll past us
7 Behind long queues 
of slow cars our
 bus crawled
8 It moved at snail’s pace and arrived three hours!
9
I told my co-workers the jam- they smiled
10 Their smiles could hide a thousand and one thoughts
11The news even reported the jam at night
12"
The keen police caused a bottle neck!" 

13 Relieved,a colleague 
grinned,”Your tale was true!”


Caleb, this one has some of the same issues as your previous blank verse. All of the lines except 11 and 12 have ten syllables, but in some of them, your iambs are off. Each one should be unstressed/STRESSED, but (to my ear) the stresses don't always fall on the correct syllable.

Here's an example--in line 6, the stresses fall like this:

through the WIND screen i saw TREES stroll PAST us

...where the pattern should be like that in line 2:

it/SOON be/GAN as/MY bus/HIT a/LANE

Also, some of your lines sound a bit forced and awkward. For example, in line 5 where you write "we phoned office to break the news." You had to omit "the" in the phrase "the office" to make the syllable count work, but it just sounds "wrong" that way.

However--I've found that different kinds of spoken English put the stresses in different places, so I may be "off" to your ear. In working with speakers of UK English from Australia and England, I've learned that they hear stresses differently from US speakers. From your name and from you mentioning that you were in Malaysia, I wonder if your accent might be different from mine. If the stresses sound fine to your ears, you can disregard everything I've said!

This is why poetry is so hard, and why I rarely attempt it. A good poet has to be able to achieve the correct meter and also make it flow naturally. For poets who use rhyme, that's still another factor that needs to "feel" effortless for the reader, but in reality, it's very, very difficult.

Finally, it's not clear why this little incident is presented as a poem. A poem needs to have some emotional content--some reason why it's not just a little anecdote written in prose.

I encourage you to keep working at it, and to find the kind of poetry that works best with your particular writing gift. Experiment with other poetic forms--free verse, haiku, limerick, etc. You obviously have a poet's heart, and with your determination to master it, I'm sure you'll go far.
Jan Ackerson

Caleb Cheong
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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby Caleb Cheong » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:35 pm

Hi Jan!

Thank you for the comments. There is still room for improvement and fine-tuning.
I appreciate you.


Lots of thanks

Caleb

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby CatLin » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:12 am

glorybee wrote:And you're not writing--why?


I've given this a lot of thought over the past many moons. I think the complicated answer can be summed up in one simple word... fear.

Cat
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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Re: Be a Better Writer--RHYMING BEYOND THE BASICS

Postby glorybee » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:00 pm

CatLin wrote:
glorybee wrote:And you're not writing--why?


I've given this a lot of thought over the past many moons. I think the complicated answer can be summed up in one simple word... fear.

Cat


Me too, me too, me too.
Jan Ackerson

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