Poetry Workshop: Meter

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The meter of a poem is the number of syllables per line of poetry and the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Meter sets the rhythm of the poem.
Traditional poetry has a distinct rhythm based on strong and weak accents. These accents (beats) are associated with the individual syllables in the line of poetry and generally follow the natural accents of regular pronunciation.
(These accents are then grouped into larger units called feet.)
Onward Christian soldiers Marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus Going on before..
The bold type indicates accents, or syllables which are stressed more than others.
In this poem, the number of syllables per line is
6
5
6
5
One way to challenge your poetry writing style is to experiment with the rhythm of your poetry. Count your syllables and identify your rhyme scheme and your meter. If you write a line that doesn’t match the others,,, be creative! Reorganize your words or substitute new words to create a satisfying flow to your poem. Rework the lines that don’t fit the pattern you decide upon. If one line is too long, look for a word or two you can trim out or look for a shorter word to replace a long one. If a line is too short, often a well-placed adjective will not only make the line longer, but give it more imagery as well.

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