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Calling all rhymers!

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I have always loved rhyme and I am sure it has to do with my childhood. Then when my children were little, I read lots of rhyming books to them, too.

We are all musical beings, too, so that probably has something to do with it!

As a follow-up to the very first post on this thread and the reason I wrote to begin with, I worked, worked, and re-worked a poem, submitted, and was told that it was very well written. Hallelujah! LOL! No acceptance yet, though, but maybe I am finally 'getting' it.  ;D

This board has been great, hasn't it? And I am SO happy to see that not only am I not the only one who enjoys rhyme, but I am not unique in trying to get it right.

It's a fun journey!

Donna J. (aka DonnaBelle  ;))
#31 - September 12, 2003, 08:44 AM

Thanks to all who helped me!! I got an acceptance today. This board is great.

Donna J.  ;D
#32 - September 17, 2003, 06:18 PM

Thanks to all who helped me!! I got an acceptance today. This board is great.



Congratulations! Tell us more!
#33 - September 17, 2003, 06:23 PM

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Donna J.,

What is this?  "I got an acceptance today" and then NOTHING ????

More information, please!

 :o :o

Anne Marie
#34 - September 17, 2003, 06:39 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

I'm sorry! I meant to add that 'Wee Ones' accepted a poem. I love children's poetry so much, so to think that kids will read it just gives me a thrill that is what I'm sure keeps everyone writing, right?

So now, because of this experience, I have another question. We have talked about having someone read something back to you, the meter, rhythm, etc. Has anyone 'clapped' out a poem? Is it like when you clap out a song? As a musician, I guess I should have thought of this before. Does anyone else do this, and is it helpful to you?
#35 - September 18, 2003, 07:11 AM

lj

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Congratulations, Donna, on the WeeOnes acceptance!   ;D

It is exciting to think that kids will be reading and enjoying our work!  Thanks for reminding me of that.  It's a nice pick-me-up on one of those "doo-doo" days to think that I have work out there that kids will get to read and hopefully, enjoy.
#36 - September 18, 2003, 07:20 AM

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Yaaaay, Donna J!

What issue will it be in?  I have a poem coming out in the June issue.

AM
#37 - September 18, 2003, 07:24 AM
« Last Edit: September 18, 2003, 07:24 AM by Anne Marie »
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

I just checked. That's when mine will be in there, too! So yay for both of us!  ;D

Also, lj, you're welcome about the comment. I have just started, but the frustration and the hard work can overcome the joy, can't it? I take my stuff to church, and let some of the kids read it. If their eyes light up, then I know I'm on to something.  :D

Just as a side note - my post about good news was my 50th, and now I am an official poster!

Donna J.
#38 - September 18, 2003, 07:27 AM
« Last Edit: September 18, 2003, 07:31 AM by Donna J. »

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Wow! ;D You ARE an official Poster now, Donna.  (And just wait til you see what  you are when you hit your 100th post!  LOL!  No telling ahead of time...  8)... but... you will probably be surprised.)  :o

And to answer your previous question:  Yes, I often clap out the rhythm in a rhyming story to make sure I haven't somehow "missed" with the rhythm of the words.

So HAPPY with all the Good News from Board Members!  ;D;D;D;D;D;D;D;D;D;D
#39 - September 18, 2003, 10:13 AM
Verla Kay

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Congratulations, Donna!
#40 - September 18, 2003, 04:52 PM

lj

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Woohoo for Donna's 50th post!

Now the race is on!
for the 100th post!  ;D
#41 - September 19, 2003, 07:04 AM

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And so far, you're IT, lj.

Not counting moderators, who have a special status of their own, you are in FIRST PLACE for the next status of Poster... only 25 to go to get to the next level.  :)
#42 - September 19, 2003, 07:24 AM
Verla Kay

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I put this under 'good news,' too cause it's good news to me. I found a critique group. I am eager to work on my poems and feel like getting other people to look at them and give me their input will help. I am also following the advice to let someone that's not from my neck of the woods read them, so that the local accent won't have a bearing on the rhyme. And you'll get a kick out of this - one of the members is from New York!  ;D

Donna J.
#43 - September 19, 2003, 12:41 PM

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WOW!  great market to break into!  

Kate
#44 - September 20, 2003, 04:56 AM

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Kate, Great about finding a critique group. Sometimes it is hard to find the right fit. Good luck with it.
#45 - September 20, 2003, 05:03 AM
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Hi, everyone.

I put something up for critique and was 'gently' chided to study iambs and anapests, so I did some research on this, and Verla, isn't that like the stressed and unstressed syllables you refer to in your rhyming workshop?  

Donna J.
#46 - September 22, 2003, 08:57 AM

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Donna J.,

Meter is a complicated subject.  Having majored in English and taught English, I'll try to explain in a nutshell.  Any decent college-level literature text should give examples.

When you're talking about meter, you're talking about an organized way of describing the rhythm of a word, phrase, sentence or poem.   In traditionally structured poetry, lines are often organized into repetitive metrical patterns.  Each line is a repetition of the pattern.  Each equal section is called a foot.  The foot is made up of stressed and unstressed syllables.  When you scan a poem, or figure out its meter, you use little acute accents and little sideways parenthesis to indicate the stressed and unstressed syllables. (i'm sure there's a name but I don't know what it is).

Since you're musical you might almost think of a foot as a measure and the line of poetry as a line of of a hymn, perhaps.

Anyway, there are different kinds of feet, each of which has a distinct pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Here are the basic ones with some examples of the rhythm:

IAMB  Michelle  (unstressed, stressed)
TROCHEE  Verla  (stressed, unstressed)
ANAPEST  can't think of an example--two unstressed followed by a stressed
DACTYL  Stephanie (stressed, unstressed, unstressed)
SPONDEE John Brown (two stressed)

Then you count the number of feet in each line.  The terms to describe the number are monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter, heptameter, and so on.

Thus you have terms like iambic pentameter, which means a line of five iambs) or dactyllic tetrameter, a line of four dactyls.

Shakespeare's sonnets and many of the lines from the plays are written in iambic pentameter.   This is the commonest English meter.  

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

Dr. Seuss often wrote in anapestic tetrameter.  In this example, the feet are anapests (u, u, s) and there are four:

"So I sat there with Sally.  We sat there, we two."

Sometimes substitutions of meter are made in verse to add interest or effect, or to make it less sing-songy, but it has to be done well.  As I said, Shakespearean sonnets are in iambic pentameter, but take a look at this:

"When in despair with fortune, and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state . . ."

The first line is not really iambic pentameter because it ends with a spondee, and "outcast state" has to be read with all stressed syllables or it can't be pronounced properly.  But it works -- the emphasis on "outcast" calls attention to it, strengthening the image of  the despondency and loneliness of the speaker.

Prosody is a complicated subject and I'm no expert, but I hope this gives you an idea of what your critiquer was refering to.  If you find it interesting, there's much, much more to know.  Hope it helps.

Anne Marie




#47 - September 22, 2003, 12:32 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Anne Marie:

Yes, very interesting! And thank you for answering. You have a very clear way of explaining. (and that helped to explain it musically, too!  ;D) I'm sure the others on the board will benefit from it, too!

I have much to learn, but I don't look at it as a chore, but a joy.

I just got back a crit where the syllables were counted for each line - and here I was working on the rhythm and now my syllable count is off. lol! Whew! This is hard work, isn't it?   :P   ;D ;D ;D

Thanks again!

Donna J.
#48 - September 22, 2003, 01:34 PM

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Wow, Anne Marie... that was a GREAT example. Would Mistletoe be an example of the Anapest word you couldn't think of?

I guess I should confess I've never heard any of that before, so I found it extremely interesting! (I've never taken a course in poetry.  I do all of my verse writing by "ear" and by "feel.")

It's really wonderful to find such terrific information being shared on this Board.  Thanks!!!! :)
#49 - September 22, 2003, 08:42 PM
Verla Kay

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Verla, you are an inspiration.

And I just noticed that this thread is a 'very hot topic.'  ;D So I'm not the only one interested!  :D

Donna J.
#50 - September 22, 2003, 10:13 PM

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Verla and Donna J.,

Thanks.  I'm glad it was helpful.

Verla, it just goes to show you that all the book-learning in the world doesn't necessarily mean anything.  You've sold a number of terrific, rhyming, metered picture books without knowing about scansion, and  I can tell you about scansion, but I don't write poetry--at least very well.  I can write verse that rhymes and scans, but I'm afraid it's not very interesting.  I'm not saying that to put myself down, I'm just saying that heart and gut instinct and desire can carry you a long way.  My knowledge of scansion helps me more with critiquing other writers' verse than it helps me write any myself.

And no, I'm sorry, but 'mistletoe' is accented on the first syllable so it's a dactyl.  I still can't think of a word because few English three-syllable words are accented on the last syllable.  Here's a line made up of anapests:

So the RACE to the FINish was NOT very QUICK
But the RACE to the SNACK table?  MAN, it was SICK.

Sorry--that's the best I can do now.  I have to get the kids out of bed and ready for school.

Anne Marie
#51 - September 23, 2003, 04:03 AM
« Last Edit: September 23, 2003, 04:04 AM by Anne Marie »
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

lj

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This is an interesting thread!  I learned a lot of this in high school from a great English Lit teacher who was no doubt an inspiration for what I'm doing now.  She had us writing sonnets and doing things with iambic pentameter and liking it!  :D

My favorite assignments were a paper comparing a Shakespearian sonnet to our favorite love song, and learning Victorian "fan-language".  I used both assignments to flirt outrageously with the hunky tennis team captain.  I loved that class!  ;D
#52 - September 23, 2003, 07:57 AM

HB

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Anne Marie, I learned more about iambic pentameter in your little lesson than I did in all my years of school. Thanks teach!

BTW, ironically, I'd consider anapest to be an anapest. But that's only if you pronounce it ana-PEST. If you pronounce it A-naPEST then it isn't.

I would think that there would be regional differences in emphasis on syllables, just as there are regional differences in whether something rhymes or not.
#53 - September 23, 2003, 09:32 AM

I'm ba-a-ack! With more questions. Anne Marie, You don't know how often I refer to your post. You are truly a jewel for taking the time to explain in such simple terms.  :lov:

Since I am a musical being, I am still wanting to 'sing' my lines, until they sound right. Kinda like VerlaKay - til they 'sound' right.


IAMB  Michelle  (unstressed, stressed)

When reading these and clapping it out, is it clapping on the upbeat?

TROCHEE  Verla  (stressed, unstressed)

Is this like 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?'


ANAPEST  can't think of an example--two unstressed
followed by a stressed

This the hardest to me. Musically?

DACTYL  Stephanie (stressed, unstressed, unstressed)

Like a waltz?


SPONDEE John Brown (two stressed)

Like a March?  :jump


And here is something else- I love Shel Silverstein, but he broke every rule, didn't he??

Are we having fun yet??   :yup   I know I am!!

Donna J.  :angel

#54 - October 01, 2003, 07:44 AM

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Donna J.,

I'll try to answer your questions.

I'm not sure we're thinking the same way on the iamb one.  When you're clapping to music, you generally clap on the downbeat (unless it's gospel or something syncopated), so if you had a line of iambs, think of the unstressed syllable as your upbeat before the start of the measure, then your downbeat would be the stressed syllable.  

I'd say TWINKLE TWINKLE is trochaic.

Anapest:  When the MOON hits your EYE like a BIG pizza PIE, that's aMOre.  

Dactyl would be like a waltz where it didn't start on an upbeat.  

And I guess marches could be spondaic.  Verses aren't generally written in spondees, but a spondee could be included in a line of something else to give those words special emphasis.

I'm not sure this makes sense, but I tried.

AM  :-\

#55 - October 01, 2003, 08:04 AM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Well, Anne Marie, you sure nailed that one!

Quote
When you're clapping to music, you generally clap on the downbeat (unless it's gospel or something syncopated),

I'm a gospel singer.  ;D ;D ;D

And thanks for the anapest one. That helps tremendously!

Donna J.  :angel



#56 - October 01, 2003, 08:10 AM

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