Can anyone give me a good website that will help with the different kinds of meter and such?
There are quite a few good ones.
If that one doesn't tell you want you want to know, do a net search for [poetry + definitions] or [poetry + terms] and compare a few.
Or come back here with a specific question and we'll try to REALLY confuse you.
Stephen Fryer, our resident expert on such does a good job next door at the
"USER SUBMITTED POETRY" forum. Go there and use the SEARCH feature.
Type in "THE METER FAMILY". Scan down until you reach the post by Northcountrywoman. She really puts it very simply.
Achilles, I apologize, but NCW's post is on the POETRY CLASS thread and not on the METER FAMILY thread. Go here to find it:
Well you did say you'd really confuse him.
I can't seem to get the link to NCW's post to work. It won't even transfer to tinyurl which would help. Here goes again:
Umm, thank you all for your help. I seem to be a little confused though. I hate doing those damned unstressed/stressed checks. Half of the time I need to look the words up to see if I had them right! Urgh, I`m starting to hate poetry.
Achilles, just read anything by Tennyson or A. C. Swinburne, the rhythm of their poetry will come through without your having to think about it.
I need to look the words up to see if I had them right!
Just say the words out loud. Surely you can hear the stresses in, for example, conFUSED, aCHILLes, or POetry? If English is not your native language, it would be more understandable of course.
"Just say the words out loud."
I don't think that works, because what trips us up is (1) the way the pronunciation of words has changed, and (2) how sloppy American English is about the stress changes that create meaning changes.
FOR EXAMPLE, there are lots of words that change from noun to verb when you shift the emphasis from one syllable to another, most people use the forms interchangeably. Here are a few cases:
An ES-cort is the person who es-CORTS you somewhere.
A PRO-test is a gathering to pro-TEST against something. (Bob Edwards of NPR is the only American news reader who gets that right.)
PER-fume is a noun. Per-FUME is a verb (to add scent to something). knowing this comes in handy when reading these lines:
And in some PER-fumes there is more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
As of now, in America, most people instinctively know that what you re-JECT goes on the RE-ject pile... that if you pro-JECT a series of activities and do them, your PRO-ject will be completed... and so forth. But there are lots of cases where we are losing the distinctions.
And classic poetry OFTEN contains words that we've come to pronounce differently or randomly.