Why do Poets write Iambic Pentameter?

Good writing and thinking

PoemShape

  • May 14, 2009 Tweaked & corrected some typos.

mount-everest-colored-edgeBecause it wasn’t there.

During the sixteenth century, which culminated in poets like Drayton, Sidney, Spenser, Daniel, and Shakespeare, English was seen as common and vulgar – fit for record keeping. Latin was still considered, by many, to be the language of true literature. Latin was essentially the second language of every educated Elizabethan and many poets, even the much later Milton, wrote poetry in Latin rather than English.

Iambic Pentameter originated as an attempt to develop a meter for the English language legitimizing English as an alternative and equal to Latin (as a language also capable of great poetry and literature). Encyclopedia of Spenser - ExtractSince meter was a feature of all great Latin poetry, it was deemed essential that an equivalent be developed for the English Language. But poets couldn’t simply adopt Latin’s dactylic hexameter or dactylic pentameter lines. Latin uses quantitative meter

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Stan wears Mary’s skirt

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Stan woke up later than usual owing to the comfort of   sleeping in his  dear wife’s soft cotton nightgown.He had slept better than  he often did despite the police calling to question him about a nude woman found wandering in the town centre. at midnight.She had forgotten her name!
Women have much better clothes than men,Emile, he remarked to the cat which was stretched out on  the Sun which a visitor had left..I don’t know why I allow that paper in the house You could sleep on a bath towel.
After having a shower,Stan decided to take another look at Mary’s clothes.He found a  long denim skirt in light indigo   and embroidery which he fancied would match his new  cream T shirt.
Of course I shall only wear  it while I do the housework he told Emile.After all in Scotland I could wear a kilt.Can you get a denim kilt he wondered.He decided to wear underpants but not to wear Mary’ssilk petticoat.She might get angry with him.
There is a certain logic in wearing a denim skirt as it  much cooler than trousers and allows easy movement.But of course one must wear decent underpants in case the wind blows under it and reveals all.That’s  why women are always buying packs of pants.So Stan was thinking. and he remembered his  old espadrilles which would look good.He stood in front  of the mirror and imagined he looked quite fetching.

The doorbell rang and on the step was the Vicar of Knittingham South.
Hello,madam, he said pleasantly.
I’m a man,Stan muttered loudly
Yes,dear,of course you are.May I speak to your  husband?
I  am the husband,Stan screeched.
Oh,I see.You are gay then, I assume.
Stan pointed to his beard and said,
I am a man. Didn’t you hear me?
Please forgive me, the Vicar said
Some old ladies get quite hairy and  with the skirt I thought it was rude to mention your beard.How do you find the skirt,by the way?
Well, it’s  very   cool having air on the legs  and it’s definitely  better than shorts.
But a cotton dress would be even better.Are you married?
Yes,said the Vicar but my wife is very intolerant of anything unusual.She’d be furious  if I wore her old  clothes.
My wife doesn’t know,Stan told him.I bet she’d be angry too because  she’d have to iron it again.
Why don’t you wash and iron it before she comes home, the Vicar demanded.
Well, just between the  two  of us I am afraid of  soap powder, irons,telephones, sprouts and   making a mistake in a recipe.Also  eye tests ,blue litmus paper ,Andrex and crisps
I’m afraid of dentists,fogs , bricks.Art,dogs and sausages the Vicar admitted.And doctors and fierce women who swear at me in the dark.
The two men stood  pondering.Are they tarts angry with not getting aby notice from the dear old Vicar.After all Jesus mixed with them.
Come inside, said Stan after a few minutes.Let’s have a coffee.
They sat on the patio drinking  their coffee and saw a wren fly past into the weigelia.
That’s the first I’ve seen recently.said Stan.
Emile was asleep  again,this time in a woven  willow   bucket in the kitchen.
Anyway,why did you call,Stan asked the Vicar.We never got to that.
I can’t remember, the dear old man admitted.I’ll have to come back tonight.
Oh,dear Stan said
I think I’d better put some trousers on, he whispered
Yes,you had said Emile.I can see the Bishop outside.
We’ll have to move,cried Stan.
And so say all of us.
For he’s a hollow bowl  mellow.
Why not pray for us?

THE SECOND COMING by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

http://www.theatrehistory.com/irish/yeats001.html

 

http://www.poetry-archive.com/y/the_second_coming.html

THE SECOND COMING

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

URNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
 
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
“The Second Coming” is reprinted from Michael Robartes and the Dancer. W.B. Yeats. New York: Macmillan, 1921.

And learn the feeling Arts

Shall we cling to grudges from the past.
Distorting vision;injuring our hearts?
Shall we   loosen that tight grip at last?
Shall we cling to grudges from the past,
When grace is waiting  for all us  poor outcasts?
Soon enough we sinners shall depart
Shall we cling to grudges from the past,
With derision ;injuring our hearts?

Shall we   choose to hold our wounded heart
Yet not retaliate  and hurt this friend or foe?
For  indulged anger grows and  war can  start
Shall we   choose to hold our wounded heart
Contain our rage and  learn the feeling Arts?
For all of us have   traversed Arctic  snow
Shall we   choose to hold our wounded heart
Yet not retaliate  and hurt this once   loved foe?

Loving winter

Winter love comes when we near the end
Yet do not wish for solitude each day.
Cupid wtth his arrows may descend
He jokes with us and invites us out to play.
Winter love may come amidst the snow
When frost bites noses and nips fingers dear.
But despite her  age a woman out may go
To walk her lover and content appear..
The age of frost has not entered my heart
My mind  has  filled with fresh and new desires
The problems come when lovers desperate
Show contempt and start a bitter pyre.
Yet winter love can grip me despite flaws
Hope and laughter circle me uncaused.