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She shows me the blue...s

I'm trying to find examples of verse in different meters.

Here's the masterpost for me to link and organize what I find over the next... er... month? Seems like a good month-long project.

This is probably just a really clever way to procrastinate on actually making my own poetry, but whatever man.

If you have a personal favorite(s) in metered poetry, please comment. It's been a long time since I lived in verse.

P.S. Oh, yeah, silly girl. Many of these poems have alternating lines and such. Freaking poets, won't stay in their bloody boxes!


iambic monometer: Upon His Departure Hence
iambic dimeter: The Robin // Dust of Snow
iambic trimeter: My Papa's Waltz
iambic tetrameter: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (*s) / Jabberwocky (*s)
iambic pentameter: Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 (obviously, I'm spoiled for choice here, but I prefer to go with one I already have memorized)
iambic hexameter: Intimations of Immortality, some of the final lines (The things which I have seen I now can see no more and And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore)

Two 'Mericana Men: Memorized it as a teenager because it cracked me up, though it totally fails political correctness. "Sooch langwadge like he say." I always imagine the narrator saying this in an overly scandalized mock-innocent tone. Anyhow, the lines alternate between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.

Recuerdo: Edna doesn't even have the decency to give me a consistent style. Most of the lines begin with an anapest. And it's definitely a rising hodgepodge of iambic and anapestic -- with a LOT of extra weak feet. I'm going to say iambic predominates. The lines alternate between four and five beats. I gotta choose some more boring poems for this project.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time: Alternating iambic tetra- and trimeter, with LOTS of irregularity (I wonder how much of the irregularity is intended, and how much has to do with how syllabification is changed. Did Herrick want glorious to be two or three syllables? One or two for higher? Flower?)


trochaic monometer: Fleas *a_t_r
trochaic dimeter:
trochaic trimeter: beginning of Song of Hiawatha (possibly more than just the beginning, but I haven't read far enough to say)
trochaic tetrameter: Jack and Jill (with headless alternating lines) (*s) / Jesus Christ is Risen Today</a> (sans Alleluias, with catalectic final feet)
trochaic pentameter
trochaic hexameter


spondaic monometer: We Real Cool (with some variation for interest, rhythm, and sheer feasibility) / Me? Whee! *a_t_r
spondaic dimeter
spondaic trimeter
spondaic tetrameter
spondaic pentameter
spondaic hexameter


anapestic monometer
anapestic dimeter
anapestic trimeter
anapestic tetrameter: The Star-Spangled Banner (mostly. ish) *a_t_r
anapestic pentameter
anapestic hexameter

Prospice: Alternating tetrameter and dimeter lines. This one is cool, though, cos it only settles into anapestic when it wants to convey subliminity. In the turmoil of violent death, there are a lot of spondees and trochees around to trip you up as you read.

the climax of Annabel Lee: Alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines in the final stanza -- at least until the denouement. *RA


dactylic monometer
dactylic dimeter
dactylic trimeter: The Charge of the Light Brigade
dactylic tetrameter: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, although shot through with irregularities such as catalectic end-feet (sometimes), a weak pick-up syllable in the second and fourth lines of the verses (but not the "bridges"), and shortened fourth-lines in verse and (especially) bridges
dactylic pentameter
dactylic hexameter


He's always willing to be second best

It turns out my 2015 reading list was actually two short. I had forgotten these two, until I did a little spring cleaning and found them, still un-put-away. And they gave me a smile, since both these reads were very pleasant.

24. La Flor de la Sal (Angela C. Ionescu)

My first complete read in Spanish, and I'm afraid nothing else will compare. A short little chapter book of fairy-tale childhood realism written at a fourth or fifth grade reading level. Very, very good. Too good, really, for its intended audience. :P

It's the sort of book more adults will enjoy than children. Its theme is life and loss and the fragility of innocence, and you can't appreciate those themes when you are actually are small and innocent. This is the sort of read that gives you nostalgia for moments you never actually had.

It's actually not a chapter book so much as a collection of short stories. All were very good, and the penultimate -- "Luz en la oscuridad" -- was sublime. I was swept away by the power of the prose. Which is quite an accomplishment, when one is stopping to look up two or three words every page.

I had the doubt that perhaps it was no better than the others, but that my reading fluency had finally kicked in, so that I was just swimming along. But I cannot really hold to that doubt. A child who is afraid of the dark is lured by a cat into a nighttime revelry among stars and faerie. It is very grave and splendid.

 photo bookflor_zpsxnjvbntt.jpg

25. Little Men (Louisa May Alcott)

A re-read (obviously. Who didn't read the Little Women trilogy sixty bazillion times as a child?

Oh, most people?

Whatever, man.)

It's easier and faster when you fallCollapse )


Finished two in February.

I usually have a weakness for overenthusiasm. But this month -- meh. 0 for 2 on the amazing finds.

The numbering is from Jan 1, 2016.

7. The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring - John BellairsCollapse )

8. Shane - Jack SchaeferCollapse )


I am working through my 180 argument essays on whether or not to support a plastic bag ban.

I cannot be blamed for these. This was a "district writing assessment." We are not technically supposed to teach anything during the project (too bad, we all do, and it's actually a very valuable use of our time provided we do break that rule), but students only have a week of in-class time to study some sources and then produce a first-draft essay, with no feedback.

The results can be entertaining:

"Plastic bags are also trash bags that bag trash cans."

It's practically Zen.

The cans of their bagging shall be trash, and the trash of the cans shall be bagged.

A very earnest student:

"If we don't have plastic bag how will we take out garbage, we can't burn it, it will let poisenous gases out. The reusable one's can give us diseases. We need to find a solution fast. How will we pick up dog poop. These are two problems in one."


"Plastic bags are useful… When you make tortillas you can use a plastic bag so it woun't stick to the metal of the thing you squish the tortillas with."

This is not the first time that it's occurred to me that if I could visit any of my students' families for dinner, I would want it to be this one. From her writing it sounds like they spend their off-hours doing little but preparing for family parties and having family parties.

It sounds awesome, in other words.

(What, me homesick? ¿Yo?)

All-Time Champion for Best Essay Line Award:

This, by the way, the student insisted was his claim:

"Paper bags are priceless, but with everything else theres mastercard."

Limits of the Socratic MethodCollapse )
Celebrating Valentine's Day, which I forgot about till Friday, and that I forced myself to do a little writing this weekend. I chose writing over work, that's right! I'm an artiste! (I'm procrastinating, actually. I mean I'm afraid to even open my inbox.)

It's only a wee bit of writing because I was mostly retooling old things. But I'm going to to post one of them. That's how damn proud I am that something got done.

I'm also proud that it's pure romantic drama. I find romance very difficult to pull off.

These two are so nice; I don't understand why their tentative, toothachey, nonsnarky relationship is one of my favorite parts of this project.

I've had the middle of this scene for a long time, but a section at the beginning and especially the end needed a do-ever. I hope the joints don't wind up being too obvious, (which is always the problem with taking years to write something).

I had forgotten how much ridiculous pop culture I 'invented' for this universeCollapse )
I love how January started off with a two-week vacation! Tee-riffic. :)

1. The House with a Clock in its Walls (John Bellairs)
2. The Figure in the Shadow (John Bellairs)
3. Fatima: The Full Story (John De Marchi, I.M.C.)
4. The Promise and the Blessing: A Historical Survey of the Old and New Testaments (Michael A. Harbin)
5. The Beatles: All These Years, Vol. I: Tune In (Mark Lewisohn)
6. Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney (Geoffrey Giuliano)

For me, six books in a month is really great, thank youCollapse )


Booktalk: Paradox (A.J. Paquette, 2013)

(I am an easily pleased reader, perhaps too eager. But last year I was lucky enough to stumble upon several books that seem like clear-cut talent, some even genius. Some informal reviews to follow.)


The precision of each sentence pins the reader to this strange and highly original universe. I am really impressed by this writer and look forward to more from her.

1) The hook of "protagonist is on a strange planet, with no memory" is perhaps not totally original, but it is carried out very, very well. The reader experiences Ana's disorientation and desperation, and the feeling of rightness whenever she can regain a bit of herself -- or any memories, even if they are not hers.

2) The two suns of Paradox are awesome.

3) So is the damn worm.

4) The trope of "action heroine, worthy but intellectual and sometimes damselly boyfriend" is being tried out a lot recently. Never more successfully than here.

Two objections:

Every pink paradise has its wormCollapse )


What a pitiful year. My total is 23 -- if I count two Biblical books!

It was an unusually busy one. Also, I was silly: I kept starting multiple books but not sticking through till the end.

I reckon next year's count will be quite a bit higher if only because I'm finishing up all the ones I'm in the middle of.

Also, in my defense: One of the ones I'm in the midst of is Les Miserables. Man, it's a long one! (And for a while, I was trying to read each chapter first in English and then in French. I've been moving a LOT faster since I abandoned that project. And what a great book.)

BooksCollapse )

ShortiesCollapse )


Bright funny thing in class today... that most wouldn't properly appreciate, so I'm sharing it here.

I do a "history of the English language" lecture every year with my Honors kids (12-year-olds). This year, I'm stretching it out a bit to make it more interactive and critical thinking-y. So at one point, without further explanation, each kid gets one of several long, complicated-looking tables showing columns of Germanic-descended words and their Latinate counterparts. Their job: observe, make sense of it.

I'm hoping they at least notice that the Germanic ones are usually more quotidian, the Latinate ones more formal.

And they did, but, being who they are, they noticed a thousand other things as well.

The best was the normally quiet girl who, after looking at her partner's words, causes mass excitement when she shouts above all the partner-talk: "Wait, I totally understand Harry Potter now!"

She had, of course, discovered the word "lupine."

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