Iambic pentameter

It has been two days since the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and although I made mention of him on my St George’s Day post, I didn’t have time to really call out the significance of the great bard.

This is my slightly belated homage to the man, master of the iambic pentameter:

The Chandos Portrait (unconfirmed authenticity)

~ Iambic pentameter ~


For the great bard it seemed so effortless;

To lay down one line after another

But for those of us lacking his clarity

It is really quite a difficult chore

For the form is not governed by syllables

As each line is more driven through rhythm

Of an emphasis followed by quietness.

In five forms of da-dum, da-dum, da-dum

It’s the iamb, or “foot”, that achieves this

Breathing life into the words on each line

And affords every reader some structure

to make sentences, to flow with much ease

But now, this description is concluding

There remains but one question unanswered

For the audience to ponder themselves

Is this an iambic pentameter?


(with apologies to the Bard)

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