Metrical Mood

Victoria Slotto is talking about meter for dVerse Meeting the bar today. Meter to me is not so much a discipline of choosing the number of beats or type of foot, but of bringing musicality to a poem.  I am, therefore inclined to take liberties with strict meter to suit the mood and the sense of a poem.

Here is an example of a Spenserian Stanza which swings between pentameter, tetrameter and hexameter. It also changes from first to second person, in order to give myself a good talking to.

Spenserian Stanza

That fellow did not deserve my absolution
for using me and dropping me the way he did
but time has a way of creating resolution –
it soothes the hurt in order to remit
the blame, erase resentment, call it quits.
Remember only good times – and they were –
to re-live historic bitterness forbid.
Life comes again, you were not burnt
but only scorched.  Move on, forgive, towards re-birth.


And here are a couple of short strict(ish) iambic tetrameter triolets:

Triolet 1

What do you think this is ?  A game?
eight line metrical rhyming verse
with repeats, a triolet is its name.
What do you think this is? A game?

It’s fun to write one all the same –
to fun I’m not at all averse.
It really is some kind of game,
to write in metrical rhyming verse.

Triolet 2

A woman’s place is in the wrong,
to stroke the ego of her man.
Despite the fact that she is strong
a woman’s place is in the wrong.

To keep the peace – her canny plan –
she has to jolly him along,
pretend that she is in the wrong –
to soothe the ego of her man.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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21 Responses to Metrical Mood

  1. I love all of these; you write wonderful form poetry.

    What you said in your first paragraph: you taught me that, and I am much less regimented about counting syllables than I once was…so, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kanzensakura says:

    The second trilet makes me smile hugely. Wonderful selections. thank you for putting them together instead of as separate submissions


  3. Grace says:

    Love the offering viv but the Triolet 2 had me smiling !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lillian says:

    Lovely meter made! 🙂 Especially smiling at the last triolet!


  5. Charley says:

    Laughing along with the second Triolet! Are we as a race (men) so insecure in ourselves and our limited abilities when it comes to a relationship, Viv? I hope my wonderful wife says, “No.” But to be honest… she’s just as free to say, “Yes” and make me laugh. Great work all three!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jillys2016 says:

    WAA HAHAHA! Love that last Triolet! The musician in you comes out with meter and very clearly at that! I really enjoy the mixed form of the first one – you do that so well, Viv!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! Great examples and lesson in some wonderful poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kudos to your poem and skill with meter! Similar to mine in tone, but much better written..especially the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the meter variation of the Spenserian part… and yes perfect meter can need some liberties to soften it up… enjambments, and so clear you use it, and it is about musicality…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this entire offering, Viv. It’s like a meter primer! Marilyn said it… Brilliant!


  11. whimsygizmo says:

    I loves me a Triolet, for sure (Walt and I have been known to banter them back and forth for months on end, over at Poetic Asides). Perhaps that means I know meter better than I think I do? 😉 Or perhaps not. Ha.

    I LOVE this:
    “you were not burnt
    but only scorched”


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Victoria says:

    You are so good at meter, Viv. For some reason, when I clicked on Mr. Linky, it took me to my blog. That happens to me sometimes. Could you check and make sure the link is correct and relink it if it is not. If it is, it’s something to do with my site. So glad you share these various examples because you are a skilled meter maid.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved these, especially the last one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Misky says:

    The mistress of meter. Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

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