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BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond: November 8, 2014

Yurixy Dark Forest by Holybr via Deviantart.com. Creative Commons.

Yurixy Dark Forest by Holybr via Deviantart.com. Creative Commons.



Hello everyone!  For this week, we are going to look at METER.  When we talk about “meter” in poetry we are talking about rhythm – the way the words in a poem flow.  Meter uses patterns of stressed sounds versus unstressed sounds.  For example, when you say the word “umbrella” out loud, you say “umBRELLa”.  You put extra force on “brell”.  That is what we mean when we talk about a “stressed” sound.  (The “um” is an unstressed sound.)


While it’s not strictly true, William Shakespeare is sometimes said to have written in iambic meter.  His words would flow something like this:  “A HORSE! A HORSE! My KINGdom FOR a HORSE!”  This type of meter “skips forward”.


For this week, however, I want you to look at something called Trochaic Meter.  Trochaic meter has a more solemn feel; a feel that makes the reader slow down a bit while they are reading.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” employs trochaic meter in places:  “ONCE uPON a MIDnight DREARy, WHILE i PONdered WEAK and WEARy”.


In trochaic meter you have one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable.  For instance, take this passage from Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha”:


BY the SHORES of GITche GUMee,
BY the SHINing BIG-Sea-WAter,
STOOD the WIGwam OF NoKOmis,
DAUGHter OF the MOON, NoKOmis.
DARK beHIND it ROSE the FORest,
ROSE the FIRS with CONES upON them;
BRIGHT beFORE it BEAT the WAter,
BEAT the CLEAR and SUNny WAter,
BEAT the SHINing BIG-Sea-WAter.


In this video you can hear the meter in action.  The passage above is from 3:03 to 3:32.




Use the “Dark Forest” image for your inspiration and either:


A.  Write in trochaic meter! You don’t need to follow these guidelines to the letter, but this will give you some structure from which to work:

 1.  Write 8 lines in trochaic meter;

2. Each line should have 8 syllables (DA da DA da DA da DA da);

3.  If you like, you may break your 8 lines into two groups of four  (a group of four lines in poetry is called a quatrain);

4.  You don’t need to use rhyme unless you want to.



B.  Write a Shadorma

1. A shadorma is a non-rhyming six-line poem with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5



C.  Write verse in trochaic meter, and then add a shadorma to cap it off!



Once you’ve written your post please tag:  BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, then put your info onto the Mr. Linky app.  If you ping us back, we’ll be able to read your post ASAP because we will be notified that you’ve written the post (not so with Mr. Linky).


Have fun!


19 comments on “BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond: November 8, 2014

  1. Bastet
    November 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:

    BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond is out in the world .. and what an interesting piece it is too … Jen takes us by the hand and leads us through the meanders of trochaic meter … a fantastic adventure!

  2. J
    November 8, 2014

    Reblogged this on Blog It or Lose It! and commented:

    Come write in the land of Poe and Longfellow — we’re trying Trochaic Meter this week! Simply put, trochaic meter is written as (DA da DA da DA da DA da ….)

  3. Pingback: Dark Forest: A Fear Shadorma | Finale to an Entrance

  4. vivienne blake
    November 8, 2014

    I had a go, but my natural prejudices came to the fore. I’m much more comfortable with rhythmic poetry in iambics or even anapests. You’ll find my irreverent efforts here: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/poetically-bolshie/

  5. georgeplace2013
    November 8, 2014

    Lovely picture. Trochaic is difficult for me.

  6. Pingback: Dark Forest | georgeplacepoetry by Debi Swim

  7. julespaige
    November 8, 2014

    Ack…. meter, stress…stresses, stressing,
    Must remember desserts is stressed spelled backwards of which I will need a few of if I attempt and am successful.

    • J
      November 9, 2014

      I’m sure you’re being too tough on yourself again 🙂

  8. Pingback: Midnight Buffet | consciouscacophony

  9. Pingback: PAD DAY 8 and Trochaic Meter | The Chalk Hills Journal

  10. Pingback: 11.8 Underscored : MLM BJ’s Trochaic meter and Sahdorma | Jules Longer Strands of Gems

    • J
      November 9, 2014

      Rum I will grant thee.
      Off to read your poem 🙂

  11. Pingback: Twilight Forest (Trochaic Meter / Fornyrdislag) | Blog It or Lose It!

  12. Pingback: by the river (trochaic & shadorma) | Traces of the Soul

  13. Meenal Sonal
    November 9, 2014

    Very nice prompt. Written Shadorma for first time. Hope you like it. Next time I shall try both 🙂

    • J
      November 10, 2014

      Welcome aboard Meenal! I’m so glad you gave it a try! Off to read it now.

  14. Pingback: The Mountain Sprite -Shadorma and Trochaic Meter – November 10, 2014 | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2014 by in BJ Poetry Forms, Shadorma and tagged , , , , , , , .
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