A Doggerel on Metric Poetry

The flaw in metric poetry
that you and I too often see,
is absence of a counterpoint
which throws a poem out of joint.

The counterpoint is useful as a tool
that oft, outside a given rule,
allows for tweaking any line
and turns words into ‘stuff’ divine.

Iambics must not always end
on stronger beats, but they should blend;
inflection may be strong or weak,
but all should sound as one would speak.

Avoid abruptness in your verse;
short lines will make a poem terse
and lack the pleasing ding-dong chime
that adds much to a well-done rhyme.

Trochees and Iambs may be mixed,
instead of always being fixed;
and pyrrhic, spondee feet work fine
along with an Iambic line.

However: after what I’ve said,
please keep in mind, when all is read,
the dominant foot remains in view;
and that’s the word from me to you.

Jerry Kemp

Jerry has written and published two books: A Bouquet of Poetic Thoughts II and Galloping Pegasus, four humorous novellas.  Retired from his horse ranch and other activities, Jerry lives with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and numerous birds at the outskirts of the Sonoran desert in Arizona.  Celebrating his 82nd birthday in October 2016, ignoring the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, Jerry continues on in his pursuit of happiness. He still paints, enjoys classical music and poetry by the old masters and, of course--writing.