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.