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Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:02 pm
by glorybee
Thanks, Steve! I'd never heard the terms "masculine" and "feminine" applied to rhymes before, and I have a minor quibble with their statement that feminine rhymes are rare in English poetry.

But it felt good to be validated in what I'd written to Phee in the wee hours of the night!

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:31 pm
by Verna
Jan, we southerners say, "Nash'vul :)

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:12 pm
by swfdoc1
glorybee wrote:I have a minor quibble with their statement that feminine rhymes are rare in English poetry.
I can't say one way or the other from personal knowledge. That is, I've never done any sort of statistical analysis nor have I read any—except perusing one on Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

I will say this: 1) Lots and lots of people who should know make this claim, while noting exceptions such as the heroic couplet (and limericks!). 2) Many folks who translate poems from languages in which feminine rhymes are common talk of how difficult it is to translate into English because they have they are stuck between the choice of messing with the syllable count or using English feminine rhymes which make the poem sound bad. (I think part of the problem is a bunch of terminal adverbs, that is, a bunch of syllable + -ly rhymes). 3) when I use Rhymezone, I get a ton more hits for monosyllabic words than for polysyllabic words, so it sort of makes sense.

On a different topic, I found a really great website today to help with scanning, something we talked about in the quatrain lesson (and I’ll post this part of this post over there too for those who might have been there but not here. It is For Better For Verse. It is in a beta status right now, so I bet it will be really good when complete.

When you go there, you will see a particular poem (A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal). Ignore that for the time being. Click on overview. There is nothing really written there (part of being beta I guess), but you have tabs you can click on. Click on “Rules of Thumb” for some hints on how to scan poetry.

Then click on “Tools.” This is a must read if you intend to use this site. The only thing I would add to these instructions is so NOT add the foot mark at the end of the line—your answers will always be wrong.
From the tools page, you can get to the poems from a box on the right side of the page. There are various ways to sort the poems and for practice purposes, you might want to sort by difficulty level. Unfortunately, within a given level, they are just alphabetical even though each difficulty level has a pretty big range. The very easiest one is Rhyme for a Child Viewing a Naked Venus in a Painting of "The Judgment of Paris," which is hilarious without being risqué.

Beyond this one, I think most of us will get some wrong answers. But, one thing that is great about the site is that the “correct” answers are provided by a true expert and not some self-proclaimed Internet expert AND they sometimes provide for alternate acceptable answers. Plus, the “light bulb” notes that appear next to some lines after you submit your answers explain how deviation from the standard meter of the poem or line impacts the impression given by that line.

To use the site fully, you will need to know just a few terms: iamb, trochee, anapest, dactyl, spondee, pyrrhic (or really iambic, trochaic, anapestic, dactylic, spondaic, pyrrhic). But if you want to, you can copy and paste these definitions from here and print them out:

Iamb =unstressed, stressed
Trochee = stressed, unstressed
Anapest = unstressed, unstressed, stressed,
Dactyl = stressed, unstressed, unstressed
Spondee = stressed, stressed
Pyrrhic = unstressed, unstressed

The site also uses terms for the number of feet from monometer through hexameter, that is one foot through six feet, but these are in a drop down menu in order, so you don’t even have to memorize them.

Don’t let the fancy names put you off—it is a really, really cool interactive site. Also, don’t let wrong answers put you off. If you keep trying, you will get better (and don’t forget he rules of thumb, including the last one).

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:58 am
by glorybee
Wow, Steve! What an awesome site! Thanks for pointing it out to us.

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:24 am
by Colswann1
Hi Jan - bit late here, hey?

There once was a man from Dundee
Who saved a pint of his wee.
His intentions were good
To wee-ter his spuds,
But they died of a stinking disease.


Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:23 pm
by yvonblake
glorybee wrote:Wow, Steve! What an awesome site! Thanks for pointing it out to us.
That's a fun site! Thanks, Steve!

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:53 am
by Colswann1
Oh dear Jan - have I made my wee limerick, a wee crude, and a wee too much of a stinker to go near?

It's only about a wee wee after all.



Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:00 am
by glorybee
LOL Colin--no, not too crude. Somehow I just missed it. But reading it gave me a nice giggle first thing this morning--thanks!

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:37 am
by swfdoc1
I guess I could have posted this in several places, but since a couple of these (follow the link to see what "these" are) are limericks or several limericks linked together (not always with proper syllable counts), I thought I'd do it here. You won't be able to access the links on the page (unless you have a Westlaw account) but the page should still be fun. It's here.

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:50 am
by glorybee
Steve, before reading this page, I'd have thought "judicial humor" to be an oxymoron, but thos are really funny. I especially snorted over the one that references Joyce Kilmer's "Trees".

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:36 pm
by swfdoc1
Speaking of "judicial humor" as an oxymoron, the dissenting opinion in Porreco v. Porreco (the one about the cubic zirconium and the pre-nup) was written by a Justice on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Two other justices rebuked him for this in their opinions in the same case, including the Chief Justice who expressed "[his] grave concern that the filing of an opinion that expresses itself in rhyme reflects poorly on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania."

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:17 am
by glorybee
Here's a charming limerick from Noel Mitaxa:

There was an old poet from Iran ,

Whose verse was difficult to scan.

When told this was so,

He said: "Yes I know;

And after reflecting over many years and receiving many similar comments to yours I'm beginning to suspect that it could be most likely due to the situation that as soon as I approach the conclusion of any rhyme I find myself becoming absolutely overwhelmed by a compulsive urge to try to squeeze as many words into the last line as I possibly can."

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:22 am
by yvonblake
Ha ha ha... Noel is a funny guy!

I used the limerick form for my Purple Challenge entry.

B______ B______

getting a late start on the classes

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:09 pm
by lidijo1

is it too late to join the classes
I'm sometimes as slow as molasses
but I'll start the homework
not a poem will I shirk
as soon as I polish my glasses


Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:13 pm
by lidijo1
Here's another one...

I sit and on words I am chokin'
My poetry brain must be broken
I'm takin' my time
but I can't find a rhyme
I may as well go to Hoboken