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Help! What's The Meter?

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Are the meters different in these three lines? I think they are. And what are the meters of each line?

1) Pathagaris crept on the tips of his toes. (His name: I hear the second syllable stressed.)

2) The trolls gobbled berries they picked with their toes. (I think 'gobbled' changes meter from the line #1? I hear -//- instead of -/-/)

3) It hurt, so he yelped, but before he could flee. (Intention, and what I hear: second word is stressed. I won't even tell you how I hear this line....)


This has driven me crazy for over a year. I have trouble hearing stressed syllables in sentences and often hear the opposite of what others hear. (I often hear unstressed as stressed.)

I know sometimes stress is subjective, but everyone's thoughts are very welcomed.




#1 - August 04, 2014, 06:31 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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Yes, those all have the same meter.  You've picked a tricky example because there's a pause at the end of each end-stopped line that would sound as an unstressed syllable when reading them all aloud.  I'd call it anapestic tetrameter, the same meter Dr. Seuss used and the same as "Twas the night before Christmas."

#2 - August 04, 2014, 07:30 AM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Holy crow! I kept the meter consistent?

Technically, each line doesn't end, it wraps. Does that make a difference? Should I post the second line of each?
#3 - August 04, 2014, 07:37 AM
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I'm impressed. For not being able to hear the stresses, you've done a nice job. I'd scan the lines like this:


Pathagaris crept on the tips of his toes.
u   /   u   u  /      u   u    /    u   u    /


The trolls gobbled berries they picked with their toes.
 u     /      u   u      /    u    u      /         u    u      /


It hurt. So he yelped, but before he could flee.
u   /      u   u    /       u    u    /    u    u      /




I agree with Anne Marie. It looks like anapestic tetrameter to me. You are consistent but not dull or boring. You also do a great job of reflecting natural speech - no sentence inversions. Kudos. I especially like the third line.


Laurel
#4 - August 04, 2014, 07:56 AM

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Samples 1 and 3 definitely match. I can read sample two as matching also, but I can see someone reading it as not matching. If it is far enough into the piece that the rhythm is well established, it will be read the way you intend. I'm intrigued to see the rest of this.

Are the meters different in these three lines? I think they are. And what are the meters of each line?

1) Pathagaris crept on the tips of his toes. (His name: I hear the second syllable stressed.)

2) The trolls gobbled berries they picked with their toes. (I think 'gobbled' changes meter from the line #1? I hear -//- instead of -/-/) This can be read with a pause between berries and they. The pause comes in mid-foot, throwing the rhythm. Reading that way puts stress on the first syllable in gobbled. Some people automatically stress the verb. My guess is most people will read it as you intend. You have no control over whether they do, so go with it.

3) It hurt, so he yelped, but before he could flee. (Intention, and what I hear: second word is stressed. I won't even tell you how I hear this line....)


This has driven me crazy for over a year. I have trouble hearing stressed syllables in sentences and often hear the opposite of what others hear. (I often hear unstressed as stressed.)

I know sometimes stress is subjective, but everyone's thoughts are very welcomed.
#5 - August 04, 2014, 08:09 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Thanks for the scan. Obviously, I try but fail miserably. The scan shows me I'm definitely inverting stresses. (My mother always said I was backwards.)

Thanks, Anne Marie and Pons. I've held this ms back for over a year. I hope the changes I've made in that course of time have been a step forward instead of making it worse because I don't hear what I should.
#6 - August 04, 2014, 08:14 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Thanks, Debbie. Yes, 'gobbled' was tripping me up, but it makes sense that if it is far enough along, it might work. It's the sixth stanza in; four lines per. Far enough?
#7 - August 04, 2014, 08:18 AM
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Keep trying. You are not failing miserably. I'm also intrigued and would like to see more.
#8 - August 04, 2014, 09:21 AM

I'm more comfortable sending it privately to anyone who would be kind enough (and can spare the time) to review. I feel a wee-bit more confident now, but when I just tried to do another read-through, I threw it off to the side and...well...insert your own expletives.

It's not formatted yet; it just has one-inch margins. If anyone is willing, let me know.
#9 - August 04, 2014, 09:46 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Oops, I get it: I offered to post the second lines of each. I'll post all three stanzas in-full. However, it still stands that if anyone has time to privately review it in its entirety, I'm up for that.


(Stanzas deleted after folks had a chance to comment.)


I'm ready. I can take it. I must get this out of revisionland.
#10 - August 04, 2014, 09:58 AM
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 02:43 PM by Arona »
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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Arona--Don't overthink this. It's really cute and clever, and I think the meter is just fine!
#11 - August 04, 2014, 11:01 AM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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I love rhyme but have SUCH problems reading other people's rhymes (not so often in books, but for critique) because I think somehow my English intonation is different? Anyway, this read perfectly fine to me. I prefer 'very' to 'awfully' in the last line just because it read more rhythmically to me, but aside from that, it was smooth.


Good luck!


PS Pathagaris is read like Pythagorus, right? Just checking. Reading it like that worked for me, with the stress as you said it should be.
#12 - August 04, 2014, 12:28 PM

I've read that one of the many problems with rhyming PBs is they are hard to market internationally for the reason you stated. The same is true for dialects anywhere, though--within the US, within England, etc.

My alternative was 'awfully'. First choice was 'very.' Can't hear what I need to hear, so that comment was helpful. (I pronounce 'awfully' with 2 1/2 beats rather than three with stress on the first. Why I want to write some things in rhyme is beyond me.)

P.S.: Pathagaris: Pah-THAG-a-rus. Hope it still works.
#13 - August 04, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Well done, Arona. 
#14 - August 04, 2014, 02:12 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

Just wanted to say  :thanks2   to everyone!
#15 - August 07, 2014, 02:46 PM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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Arona if you have a hard time hearing the meter, then tap along while reading. Your finger, or foot will hit on the stressed beat. Do it enough times and you will start to hear it.  Also I am assuming these are three lines in different parts of your story and not from the same stanza correct? Because you are rhyming toes with toes.

I love that you are using words like Pathagaris and gobbled. Nice job!
#16 - August 11, 2014, 12:13 PM

Pcz: I do tap out, but I'm still ear-less with meter most often. (My father was a drummer, my husband a bass player, and I've been around musicians all my life--I'm kind of hopeless. I think what I'm doing is keeping a steady beat rather than tapping out the beats, as you suggest. Well, I still invert stresses, so....)

Yes, they were the first three lines to three different stanzas. I posted the three (consecutive) stanzas in-full, and then deleted them after folks stopped commenting.

'Pathagaris' and 'gobbled' presented extra challenges for me--as did other things, such as 'Pathagaris Dorrey,' but another big one was "chewed-off" vs. "chewed off," and how I THINK it works changed the entire stanza, but it wasn't what I wanted.

There's so many reasons for rhymes to go wrong. (Oooh--when rhymes go wrong...someone could write a guide for "outlaw" rhymes.)

Thank you very much for your suggestion and comments.  ::-)

#17 - August 11, 2014, 01:52 PM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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