T.Y.S. & L.B.D

A poem when you got it bad. And lost it even worse. Featuring iambic tetrameter

Los Angeles Lighthouse in B&W by John Stodder
Los Angeles Lighthouse in B&W

I played around with iambic meter with this poem. I never thought about meter with my poetry and now, it’s one of those things you can’t unlearn because I see it everywhere.

Meter is basically the rhythmic structure, a  of a line, and iambic meter is the pattern of stressing every 2nd syllable of a line: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed.  There are many variations of meter:

Shakespeare used iambic pentameter: To be, or not to be. That is the ques|tion. (5 syllables, unstressed, stressed)

so did Eminem in Lose Yourself, loosely:  His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already. Mom’s Spaghetti, he’s nervous. But on the surface, he looks calm and ready, to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting, what he wrote down, the whole crowd grows so loud. He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out. He’s choking, how? Everybody’s jokin, now. The clock‘s run out. Time’s up, over, Blaow!

Edgar Allen Poe used trochaic octameter: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary (8 syllables, stressed, unstressed)

Whichever format, meter adds another dimension of meaning. to poetry and music, embedding emphasis and pronounced emotion.

I used iambic tetrameter: unstressed, stressed lines of 4 metric feet (for the most part).

My place was here | You let me die

Your face was queer | I could not hide

The storm you quelled | I could not fight

You saved my head | But killed my light


Through all your words | You kept me high

Though af-ter you | I found no sky

Forc-ing my hand | You fright-ened me

Your sub-tle grip | It poise-ned me


The sweet em-brace | Your wick-ed kiss

The gent-le touch | It left a cyst

Your cod-dled words | They formed a mass

Tor-ment-ed days | These, too, shall pass


Or So they Say | Those lies were true

I could not kill | The mem’ry of you

You stripped my fears | and gave me sins

My che-mis-try | the code with-in


The D-NA | And ev-ery strand

was shat-tered with | the mas-ter plan

A cre-vice, there | is where you lie

Be-hind my eyes | is where you hide


Be-tween your legs | I conquered you


In-side my soul | You conquered me

Just take your shit | and leave me be

I try to kill | with a-pa-thy


I scream ag-ainst | a mut-ed wall

It screams and says | “you lost it all”


To-mo-rrow comes | I want you gone

No bit-ter tears | for los-ing pawns

You’ve won the game | and won the con

Just take your shit | and leave by dawn.


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