About workshops

Workshops on Neopoet are groups that meet for a certain period of time to focus on a certain aspect of poetry. Each workshop participant is asked to critique all the other poems submitted into a workshop. A workshop leader helps coordinate -- they set the agenda, give participants feedback on whether their submissions and critique are at they level expected of them, and after the workshop is over, give feedback to participants. 

To join a workshop, first find one that is of interest to you. Once you have found the right workshop (and verified that it is open -- you can find this out in the description below), you can apply to join the workshop.


Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Basic and Essential Meter

Status: 
Program description/goal: 

Description: The essentials of meter in four simple exercises.

Leader: weirdelf
Moderator(s):  I would love help from anyone who knows how to parse meter. Any volunteers?

Objectives: To write four quatrains, all in strict meter. One in Iambic pentameter, one in Trochaic hexameter, one in Anapaestic trimeter or pentameter, one in Dactylic tetrameter or hexameter.
Don't be put off by these technical terms, I will explain all when the workshop starts, and you don't have to use the technical terms, you can always say things like 'da DUM times five' but I suspect it's a bit less cool.

Level of expertise: Open to all

Subject matter: Meter is the most important and most neglected aspect of our craft. I urge you to do this exercise at least once, and promise you you will feel a new power in your pen.

Most important:- Remember when posting each quatrain do not post to this page, post as a normal poem to the Stream but to scroll down to the 'Workshop' dro-down and select 'Basic and Essential Meter'.

Length: 
30 days
Number of participants (limit): 
20 people
Skill level: 
Date: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018 to Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Short description: 
The essentials of meter in four simple exercises.

Comments

I'll be under the influence of pain killers during the heart of this shop so I must decline being a true participant (good timing on your part? lol). But I'll ghost along as I can.......stan

You wouldn't welch for $3.50.... I think.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

So all participants, if you are using a laptop or phone make sure your microphone is turned on.

Don't worry if you can't hear or record. All the important information will be text.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

May I post my translation of Boris Pasternak's poem?
It is an attempt to write in four feet iambic lines,
With one extra syllabus at the end of the line one and three? I am having a tough time to keep the meter and need help fixing it a bit. Are you game?
-! -! -! -!-
-! -! -! -!
-! -! -! -!-
-! -! -! -!

IRiz

Four lines in Iambic Pentameter. No rhyme. The content means little. It can be nonsense.
tat Dum, ta Dum, ta Dum, taDum, ta Dum

Soon.
.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

for now lets just enrol and talk.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Sorry just saw this. I can unpublish my submissions.

IRiz

Would like to join thank you kindly,
Mario

Mario Vitale

and welcome.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Rhyme forbidden or just not required?

The emphasis is on meter and rhyme can screw with meter. Please don't do it.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

dokey

My I join the group?

you're in.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Have your say, I'd like to find out where you are at.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Well to me meter is the difference between poetry and plain prose. It sets the "beat" that often makes lines memorable. Even in free verse it can be used here and there to emphasize parts of a poem.........

What about terms like rhythm, cadence and flow?
Poetic prose can have cadence, flow, without meter though. What's the difference?

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Maybe it is that meter has a set number of beats between rhyming or near rhyming words while a poem Can have decent flow without strict meter

Meter opens a greater creativity for me. When I have to consider meter I can't just let it flow from my head, but find i am forced to craft my thoughts more; and this crafting opens richer ideas, and new insights.

and lends itself to different themes and structures. A learning of the basics allows you to pick the right one.

It need never inhibit, only enhance creative expression.

for me sometimes a meter attaches it self to the merest glint of a concept and a poem is born, at others I build a construct and design a meter to fit it.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

I have seen metered prose, so meter to me does not make the different between poetry and prose. Poetry to me is first of all content, though certain
tools may enhance its presentation.

the poetic process, along with music is the most elusive, esoteric and barely frangible of artforms.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

I agree. It is hard to say what makes poem poetic. But meter makes it to be heard.
Btw, WElf, I posted trochaic pentameter in your workshop. Wake up Australian, time to count my s-t.

IRiz

You initially forgot to link it to the workshop.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Must the submission be 4 lines, or can it be longer?

but no epics please!

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

The first exercise is a quatrain in Iambic Pentameter.

Iambic means ta DUM, Pentameter means there are five of them per line.

Please don’t try to rhyme, it only detracts. And don’t worry too much about meaning, it is the sound that sounds.

ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/
ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/
ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/
ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/ ta DUM/

or if you prefer Bold just select the syllable and hit Ctrl B

ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/
ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/
ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/
ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/ ta dum/

Note, that the syllables can split words and include polysyllabic words

Eg Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening (By Robert Frost)

“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.”

“He gives/ his harn/ess bells/ a shake
To ask/ if there/’s some/ mistake.
The on/ly oth/er sound's/ the sweep
Of eas/y wind/ and down/y flake.”

Get it?

Here is how it sounds. I'll read it twice , once normal, once exaggerating the meter. have exaggeratted the meter so you can hear it.

https://vocaroo.com/i/s1n45HBcTmvO

 

 

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

If it's not too late, I'd love to join! When should the first poem be posted by?

- JRS

"Fully alive! More than most, ready to smile and love life. Fully alive! and she knows how to believe in futures." Flyleaf

and welcome

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Foot type     Stress pattern                                    Or Just Say        Syllables

Iamb-            Unstressed + Stressed                        da DUM                Two
Anapaest-     Unstressed + Unstressed                   da da DUM            Three
                    +Stressed
Trochee-       Stressed + Unstressed                         DUM da                Two
Dactyl-         Stressed + Unstressed                          DUM da da            Three 
                    +Unstressed   
Amphibrach- Unstressed + Stressed                         da DUM da           Three
                    +Unstressed
Spondee-     Stressed + Stressed                               DUM DUM            Two
Pyrrhic-       Unstressed + Unstressed                       da da                    Two
Catalexis-    Broken foot                                                                            One

 

Foot count

1-Monometer

2-Dimeter

3-Trimeter

4-Tetrameter

5-Pentameter

6-Hexameter

7-Heptameter

8-Octameter

 

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

Caesura - Sometimes a natural pause occurs in the middle of a line rather than at a line-break.

Iambic, Anapaestic, Trochaic, and Dactylic are the most common and important.

Iambic and Anapaestic, mix quite well, both ending in stressed syllables and make for strong rhyming.

Trochaic, and Dactylic mix quite well, both ending in unstressed syllables and make for subtle rhyming.

Iambic Pentameter is said to resemble the human heart beat.
Trochaic, and Dactylic are popular in ballads and epics.
You will find what works best with your form.

For the most creative and highly successful experiments with meter read Gerard Manley Hopkins 'Sprung Meter". Being poets we hate rules and try everything at least twice or more but experiments with meter are like experiments with spelling. It either doesn't work at all or it is just plain wrong. One exception re spelling would be Roger McGough.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment

No rhyme or significant meaning necessary, just play with the meter. I will mark them up for you and record some where we disagree on stress and pronunciation. I've only heard from Tyro and IRiz so far, come on, have a go ya mugs!

 

Remember when posting each quatrain do not post to this page, post as a normal poem to the Stream but to scroll down to the 'Workshop' drop-down and select 'Basic and Essential Meter'.

cheers,
Jess
Two great new workshops!
'Basic and Essential Meter' https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/basic-and-essential-meter
and
'UNFINISHED WORKS' help with that one you're stuck on, https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/unfinished-works

author comment
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