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On Writing: Rhyming Verse

Have you ever wondered how hard it is to write rhyming verse?

Probably the most common and most loved type of poetry, Rhyming Verse consists of identical (“hard-rhyme”) or similar (“soft-rhyme”) sounds placed at the ends of lines or at predictable locations within the various lines. A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word “rhyme” may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.

How many of you still remember “Hickory Dickory Dock” or “Jack and Jill?” Do you know why they’ve stayed with you all these years? It’s because, for some reason, our feeble brains can memorize words, scripture verses, poetry, and songs when a rhyming pattern formulates the crux of the work.

Can you remember the words to a popular song or even a hymn that you might not have heard for years and years, but when you hear it, all the words AND the tune come bubbling out of your mind and mouth? Isn’t that amazing? Well, the rhyming pattern has made it quite easy to remember the literary piece.

Now, we could take the time to discuss alliteration, assonance, and forms of poetry like sonnet, tanka, and ode (and many others), but neither time nor space permit such a study. If you are truly a poet at heart, then start to discover all the fascinating facets of rhyming poetry with this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry#Rhyme.2C_alliteration.2C_assonance.

But for the time being, here at this blog, we’ll just discuss meter and rhythm in rhyming poetry.

Rhythm has everything to do with timing and the syllable structure of each word and line in a poem’s stanza. Take a while to learn what these following patterns are in relation to “stressed” (accented) and “unstressed” (unaccented) syllables:

iamb – one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (e.g. describe, Include, retract)

trochee – one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable (e.g. picture, flower)

dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables (e.g. annotate, anecdote)

anapest – two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable (e.g. comprehend, understand)

spondee – two stressed syllables together (e.g. e-nough)

When anyone tackles writing a rhyming poem, the most important detail to remember is that a good rhyming poem could be set to music. Every word, line, and stanza would fit perfectly to the tune for which it was written.

When I’m at writers’ conferences and have the privilege to critique any rhyming works by budding authors and I detect a real problem with their “rhythm and meter,” I always direct them to a source that might surprise you: the church hymnal.

If you want to study perfect rhythm and meter poetry, look at the old hymns of the faith. They are so easy to read, to recite, to sing. Why? They are absolutely flawless in the number of syllables, accented and unaccented, in each line of the poem. Let’s take a look at one or two stanzas from some famous hymn lyrics:

America the Beautiful Hymn Lyrics

(Note the perfect eight syllable/six syllable pattern in every stanza, including the refrain. Wow!)

O beautiful for spacious skies,

 For amber waves of grain,

 For purple mountain majesties

 Above the fruited plain!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet

Whose stern impassion’d stress

A thorough fare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness.

O beautiful for heroes prov’d

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life.

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

Rock Of Ages Hymn Lyrics

(In this hymn, the meter is a perfect seven/seven in each line. Double wow!)

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

 Let me hide myself in Thee;

 Let the water and the blood,

 From Thy wounded side which flowed,

 Be of sin the double cure;

 Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands

Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to the cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;

Helpless look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes shall close in death,

When I soar to worlds unknown,

See Thee on Thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

 

So, you see, if you want to become skilled at writing rhyming poetry, study the masters, study hymn lyrics, use your dictionary to find accented and unaccented syllables in words, and try your hand at this most popular and most common poetic verse.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.montrosebible.org

 

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TEN REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT MISS

THE 2016 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE

Sad.Smiley.Face

 God told you to write your book, and it’s fine the way it is.

You don’t have the time. You have to clean the refrigerator and watch the grass grow.

You don’t have the money. Your Bowser says he’s out of bacon bites and sausage treats.

You don’t know how to get to Montrose. All the airports are closed, your GPS is on vacation, and MapQuest is being updated.

You can’t find your manuscript on your computer: (no further explanation needed).

You feel the faculty members have nothing to help you because you know everything there is to know about writing.

You don’t knead anyone to edit yore wirk because your reel good with grammer and speling. You got a C+ in high school Englsih, and that’s good enuff.

Your Aunt Izzy read your book, and she thinks it’s the most wonderful thing she’s ever read.  She’s going to give you the money to self publish it.

You’ve revised your manuscript twice, and you don’t need any smart alec editor telling you to change it AGAIN!

You haven’t been published yet, so you’ve decided to quit writing. After all, you’ve been doing it three months already, for gravy’s sake!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THIS YEAR’S MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE AND FIND OUT HOW TO GET YOUR WORK READY FOR PUBLICATION!

Access to the registration form is at the bottom. 

CHECK IT OUT AT http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx 

I’d love to see you there next week!

Marsha

Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Horse Facts Blog)

www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

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BOOK 2 in THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Book2.On.Victory.Trail.Cover

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July 5, 2016

I’m a Writer Who Knows Everything! Forget the Writers’ Conferences!

 

Me Know Everything!

   Me Know EVERYTHING!

Really? You know everything you need to know about writing?

How about:

  1. The proper way to submit a manuscript to an editor
  2. When it’s time to look for an agent
  3. Where the climax comes in the storyline of a fiction piece
  4. Using “real” people’s names in your nonfiction memoirs
  5. Posting footnotes and references in your piece
  6. Free verse vs. blank verse
  7. Finding an editor to review your work before you self publish
  8. Whether you need a blog and Facebook account
  9. Getting your book on the Ingram’s list
  10. Developing a platform to promote your work
  11. How often to mention “God” in your Christian novel
  12. How “spooky” your speculative fiction can be

This list  is just a small sampling of the questions a seasoned writer can answer. I probably could have listed 40 or 50 more questions that will be addressed at this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference.  Come and learn the trade! We’d love to see you there July 17th to the 22nd OR just come for a day or two if that’s all your schedule allows. I promise you won’t be sorry. (Partial scholarships are available.)

************************************

SO…IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER FOR THE

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE!

Don't.Stop.Believing

July 17th-22nd  

http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Four Major Morning Continuing Classes

40 Afternoon Workshops

Fellowship with Other Authors, Agents, and Editors

YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW!

Are You a Blank Verse Poet?

Two blogs ago, we discussed “Free Verse” poetry and gave some examples of this “free” kind of literary expression.

This time, we’re looking at “Blank Verse,” which is defined as a type of poetry distinguished by having a regular meter but no rhyme. The meter, most commonly used with blank verse, is iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of speech, but blank verse is not the same as free verse because it employs a meter. Paradise Lost by John Milton and most of Shakespeare’s works are written in iambic pentameters.

Blank Verse has been described as probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the 16th C., and it is believed that about three-quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse.

So, what in the world is iambic pentameter? For a flowery detailed definition go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page, but in simple terms, it’s poetry with each line made up of five pairs of short/long, or unstressed/stressed, syllables.

Here’s an example of a classic iambic pentameter poetry line:

˘         /      ˘       /        ˘           /      ˘    /     ˘     /

To swell the gourd, and plump the ha- zel shells

Here’s another one with a slight variation of the accented and unaccented syllables. However, you will note that there are still only 10 syllables:

/      ˘      ˘        /      ˘      ˘       /     /         ˘       /

Now   is | the   win- | ter   of | our   dis- | con- tent

Let’s look at a  short excerpt from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which displays an idea of what Blank Verse with its iambic pentameter is all about:

 

Paradise Lost

by

John Milton

Chapter 1 – Book 1

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste

Brought death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed

In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar.

Note that each line has ten syllables and follows the unaccented/accented syllable pattern. So, now that you’ve been enlightened about Blank Verse, do you think you’d like to try your hand at it? If so, please try to write a ten-line Blank Verse poem and send it to me via email attachment. I’d love to see your work.

Coming soon: Rhyming Verse.

Happy writing!

P.S. Time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. You won’t be sorry! If you’re a poet, you’ll want to sign up for award-winning Shirley Stevens’ work-in-progress seminar when you’ll work with Shirley on your poetry in a small class setting with limited enrollment.

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx  for all the details.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

 

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WHOLESOME SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

 SNOW

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

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Need Individual Help with your Writing Project?

 MCWC.Duck.Welcome.Sign.on.Porch.7.22.14

Get published this year! Help is available at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 17th-22nd

with three different work-in-progress sessions:

Roper.Gayle.Photo.2015

WORK-IN-PROGRESS SEMINARS (LIMIT 8 CONFEREES EACH)

10:40 – 12:10 Monday-ThursdayIDE.KATHY.PHOTO.TWO

FROM GOOD TO BETTER TO BEST (FICTION)

 GAYLE ROPER

                             HONING YOUR NONFICTION

                                       KATHY IDE

 1:30 – 2:15 Tuesday-Thursday

POETRY (EXAMINING WORKS IN PROGRESS)

SHIRLEYSTEVENS

Shirley.Stevens.holds.stuffed.monkey

What is a “work-in-progress?”

A work-in-progress seminar is designed specifically for a handful of writers at one time to revise a selected portion of their pieces in a private setting with the individual help of an award-winning author and with the critique of the other conferees in the class. The time spent is invaluable, helping each author polish that work and learn the skills needed to revise the rest of the work at home, thus making the manuscript more ready for publication. At Montrose this year, the WIPs are all limited to 8 conferees, who will work on their own manuscripts with the designated faculty member for several hours during the week.

Maybe this is the time you should register for one of the WIPs, dust off that old manuscript, and get serious about getting it published. You could have a book manuscript or a poem or two that an editor just might to be looking for.

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx for all the details, including a registration form.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

 

(More shameless promotion)

WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

 SNOW

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449523382&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

June 6, 2016

What Kind of Poet Are You?

I’m sure if you’ve dabbled in any kind of poetry writing, you probably started with silly little rhyming patterns like I did. But after awhile, you might have gotten brave enough to try something different like Free Verse, Blank Verse, or Haiku. I’ve tried my hand at all of them, but I still like the simple iambic pentameter style of rhyme.

Let’s take a look at the most popular styles of poetry. In today’s blog, we’ll look at Free Verse.

Definition of Free Verse

Free Verse is a form of poetry composed of either rhymed or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern. The early 20th-century poets were the first to write what they called “Free Verse,” which allowed them to break from the formula and rigidity of traditional poetry. The poetry of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) provides many illustrations of Free Verse, including his poem “Song of Myself.” Here’s a stanza from that well-known poem:

“Song of Myself”

by

Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loaf and invite my soul,

I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.”

This poem is pages and pages long and quite impressive. To check the entire poem, go to:

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html

One of my favorite stanzas is this one about a horse:

A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses,

Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears,

Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground,

Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving.

His nostrils dilate as my heels embrace him,

His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure as we race around and return.

I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion,

Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them?

Even as I stand or sit passing faster than you.

*****

I remember reading this poem, or parts of it, in high school, and I’ve always remembered this beautiful ode to the animal that I love so much. Years, later, I wrote my own poem about a horse and had the free verse published in a small poetry booklet, “Time of Singing” (Volume 27, Fall 2000; editor: Lora Zill) http://www.timeofsinging.com/index.html

“Sorrel Majesty”

When I saw his majestic muscular beauty

And delicate sleekness,

My eager heart stood still.

He pranced with such royal dignity

That my soul bowed,

A peasant before the king.

With proud neck arched

And tail obedient to the wind,

The snorting engine nodded.

His keen ears searched.

His fiery spirit traced my slightest breath.

My trembling fingers reached

Toward a trembling velvet nose.

And we both knew …

He was mine.

*****

So, you see, if you have a passion about any topic, you could write “poetry.” Try your hand at it; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Feel free to send me via email attachment a sample of your work. (marshahubler@wildblue.net)

Next time, we’ll take a look at Blank Verse.

Happy writing!

P.S. Time to register for the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. You won’t be sorry! If you’re a poet, you’ll want to sign up for award-winning Shirley Stevens’ work-in-progress seminar when you’ll work with Shirley on your poetry in a small class setting with limited enrollment.

Please check http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx for all the details. J

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

(More shameless promotion)

WHOLESOME, SAFE BOOKS FOR TWEENS

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

SNOW 

Dallis Parker copes with bullying at school by dreaming about owning Snow, a wild Mustang, who most folks believe doesn’t even exist. Then she actually touches the horse, and her life is changed forever.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449523382&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

The 2016 Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference:

One Step Closer to Publication! 

BUT FIRST…

Iwo Jima 

REMEMBER TO HONOR OUR BRAVE VETS TODAY!

 

Plan to come to Montrose this July!

As director of the Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, I guarantee you’ll find faculty members who will help you get published. Besides 43 afternoon classes that cover everything from self publishing to blogging to writing novels to working with an editor to public speaking, we have an excellent line-up of continuing Major Morning seminars, concentrating on a specific genre or subgenre with best-selling authors:

Jeff Gerke.Photo.MCWC.2016

  1. THE IRRESISTIBLE NOVEL – Jeff Gerke
  2. WHAT’S YOUR STORY? (How to Write a Memoir) – Larry Leech
  3. THE INSPIRATION & THE PERSPIRATION (Beginners) – Roseanna White
  4. FOCUS ON JUVENILE FICTION – Jeanette Windle

Editors and Agents: jim hart_photo (2)

If you have a manuscript, and you’d like to show it to an editor or agent, plan to meet any of these faculty members, who just might be interested enough to consider it for publication:

  1. SUSAN M. BAGANZ – acquisitions editor with Prism Book Group (romance novels)
  2. JIM HART – agent with the Hartline Literary Agency (fictional suspense, romance, women’s fiction, & some sci-fi)
  3. MARSHA HUBLER – acquisitions editor with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas juvenile & tween fiction, adult fiction)
  4. ROSEANNA WHITE – managing editor of WhiteFire Publishing (non-fiction, romance (both historical and contemporary), biblical fiction, suspense, women’s fiction, and speculative fiction)
  5. JEANETTE WINDLE – acquisitions editor with Kregel Publishing (tween and adult fiction)

Work-in-Progress:

We also have three work-in-progress sessions this year with award-winning authors, who will work with you on your manuscript and get it publishing ready. (These WIPs are limited to 8 conferees each, so don’t wait to register!):

Roper.Gayle.Photo.2015

  1. FROM GOOD TO BETTER TO BEST (FICTION) – Gayle Roper
  2. HONING YOUR NONFICTION – Kathy Ide
  3. POETRY (EXAMINING WORKS IN PROGRESS) – Shirley Stevens

Check All the Details:

Please check out the Montrose Bible Conference website for all the details, including a listing of all classes and activities, a brochure, and a registration form.

http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

We’d love to see you at Montrose from July 17th to the 22nd. But…if you can’t make it for the week, plan to come for a day or two. I promise you won’t be sorry.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

http://www.montrosebible.org

http://www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

http://www.marshahubler.com

 

(More shameless promotion)

A HORSE TO LOVE

 Keystone Stables Book 1

Foster kid Skye Nicholson hates everyone and everything until she meets Champ,

a gorgeous show horse. Then everything changes…for both of them.

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