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Lance Pittman United States (4/16/2013 5:45:00 PM)

I needs some help I have to write a sonnet for my English 102 class and I can't get meter to save my life. I'm hoping one of you fine folks will help me out. Here is my poem, feel free to rip it to shreds.

What Will It Be?

“What will it be Mac?” The bartender asks.
I sit and ponder while I draw on my cigar,
So many choices are there from his flasks.
They range from the mundane to the bizarre.

Do I fancy a Merlot from France,
Or fine scotch from the Highland,
Perhaps I should leave up to chance,
Or tea from long-island.

Shall I chase the green fairy,
Or wait for the white lightning to strike?
If I do things could get hairy,
I can think of nothing I’d dislike.

I sense that the answer is near,
I’ll have one whiskey, one bourbon, one beer

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  • James Kastner (5/26/2013 11:56:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    I love this stuff and was taught by professor who wrote this and grew up with it. I loved teaching it. Using know what you've been taught about metric and the sooner form (English sonnet in your poem) , but these are the basics. Types of metric feet- iambic (non stressed, stressed) , trochaic (stressed, non stressed) , anapestic (non stressed, non stressed, stressed) , spondee (non stressed, non stressed) , forgot the name (stressed, stressed) . An English sonnet has the pattern: 14 iambic lines with an a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g rhyme rhyme scheme. You are allowed two feet in each line to not be iambic.

    With that said. This is how I'm scanning your poem:
    Line 1: torchee torchee torchee iamb iamb
    Line 2: okay
    Line 3: iamb iamb anapest anapest
    Line 4: iamb iamb iamb anapest

    Line 5: anapest iamb iamb iamb
    Line 6; iamb torchee iamb with feminine ending
    Line 7: iamb iamb torchee torchee
    Line 8: iamb iamb torchee

    Line 9: anapest iamb torchee
    Line 10: iamb iamb torchee iamb
    Line 11: anapest torchee iamb
    Line 12: anapest iamb iamb iamb

    Line 13: iamb iamb anapest
    Line 14: okay

    Suggestions- I don't want to rewrite your poem. But here are some ideas. When you start a line with a stressed syllable, you often end up with a line that is mostly trochaic. Try starting line one with a non stressed syllable. The line should become mostly iambic. Line three, add an iambic foot at the end of the line. Line four, you just need one more foot of any type. The same with line five. Line six, put an iamb followed by any type of foot. Line seven, you need an iamb at the end of the line. Line eight, one of the last two feet needs to be iambic. Line nine, you need two iambic feet. Line ten, as ny type of foot at the end of the line. Line eleven, one iamb and one foot of any type.

    I hope this is helpful as it is long winded.

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    • James Kastner (5/26/2013 12:03:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      I want to add that I like poems content and the rhyme scheme works. It only needs some tinkering with the meter. Good luck.

  • Rose Of Atthis (4/22/2013 11:50:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    Lance this has the making of a very good poem, pleas give this a month of thought and then return with improvements

  • Michael Conner (4/16/2013 11:00:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Lance....I love this piece, ...good job. I almost hate to even be so bold as mess with it,
    but since you asked for tips on getting the meter to play out I gave it a go.
    Just my take on a different cadence and flow without changing the content.
    Good luck on the assignment, man......

    What Will It Be?

    “What will it be Mac?” The bartender asks.
    I sit and ponder while I draw on my cigar, (I sit and ponder and enjoy my cigar)
    So many choices are there from his flasks. (so many choices are there in his flasks)
    They range from the mundane to the bizarre. (they range from mundane, out to the bizarre)

    Do I fancy a Merlot from France,
    Or fine scotch from the Highland,
    Perhaps I should leave up to chance, (should I leave it to chance)
    Or tea from long-island. (or choose tea from Long Island)

    Shall I chase the green fairy,
    Or wait for the white lightning to strike? (or wait for white lightning to strike)
    If I do things could get hairy, (if I do things'd get hairy)
    I can think of nothing I’d dislike. (for there's nothing I'd dislike)

    I sense that the answer is near, (I'm beginning to sense that the answer is near)
    I’ll have one whiskey, one bourbon, one beer (I'll just have one whiskey, one bourbon, one beer)

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