Omi and the Bird v. 2

This week, I came back to “Omi and the bird” because I really want to make progress in meter. I made a silly nO0b error that I couldn’t let stand. ūüėÄ

Iambic Tetrameter = 8 syllables total with 4 iambic feet , Iambic Pentameter with 5 iambic feet = 10 syllables total. *facepalm* 

Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up in my mind… I’ve re-worked the poem to actual Iambic Pentameter/ Blank Verse.

I was not 100% strict, I did use substitutions as I understood to be allowed in IP verse. This time, I’m going to post the re-worked poem and below that, the poem with my scansion notes. ¬†They may or may not be correct!

Omi and the Bird v2

She stands, hands pressed to glass to look upon

summer morn. A bird flits, from to and fro,

in leaves of trees, a swoop to sip from buds

lemonade, lending joy to commonplace.

A small hand touches mine, and then a word,

a: “Bird”, her smile is full of pride. While I

pleased equally, pause to give her a pat,

feet padding to the door. And open then,

warmth rushes inside, while she rushes out

with brows creased. On her face, it now begins

to dawn. Neither as lovely as she had

imagined, nor as free. The bird is gone.

With Scansion Notes:

She stands, hands pressed to glass to look upon
(she STANDS/hands PRESSED/ to GLASS/ to LOOK/ u PON

summer morn. A bird flits, from to and fro,
(SUM mer/MORN a/BIRD FLITS/from TO/and Fro
trochee/iamb /spondee/iamb/iamb)

in leaves of trees, a swoop to sip from buds
(in LEAVES/of TREES/a SWOOP/to SIP/from BUDS)

lemonade, lending joy to commonplace.
(LEM on/ ade LEND/ing JOY/to COM/ mon PLACE)
trochee/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb

A small hand touches mine, and then a word,
(a SMALL/HAND tou/CHES MINE/and THEN/a WORD)
iamb          trochee          spondee            iamb          iamb

a: “Bird”, her smile is full of pride. While I
( a BIRD/ her SMILE/ is FULL/ of PRIDE/ while I

pleased equally, pause to give her a pat,
(pleased E/ QUAL LY/ PAUSE to / give HER/ a PAT)
iamb Spondee Trochee iamb iamb

feet padding to the door. And open then,
(feet PAD/ DING to/ the DOOR/ and O/PEN Then
iamb trochee iamb iamb trochee

warmth rushes inside, while she rushes out
(warmth RUSH/ es IN/side WHILE/ she RUSH/es OUT

with brows creased. On her face, it now begins
(with BROWS/creased. ON/her FACE/ it NOW/be GINS

to dawn. Neither as lovely as she had
(to DAWN/ NEI ther/ as LOVE/ LY as / she HAD
iamb            trochee         iamb    trochee /iamb

imagined, nor as free. The bird is gone.
(i MAG/ ined NOR/ as FREE/ the BIRD/ is GONE)

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2 thoughts on “Omi and the Bird v. 2

  1. Hi Niqui,

    It’s looking a lot more like IP than last week. Progress!

    In general, I think your analysis of the mutisyllabic words could use some work. You can cheat using a dictionary with these, because the stress patterns are built into the words, and they are written down in the dictionary so you can crib from them. In general, multisyllabic words will not have multiple stressed syllables in a row; stresses have to be separated from one another by one or more unstressed syllables. Some comments on specific lines belos:

    You’ve got the stresses placed right in L2, but I don’t think it scans: that’s three substitutions in a row. It scans (and parses!) much better if you render it this way:

    a SUM/ mer MORN./ a BIRD/ flits TO/ and FRO.

    In L5, you’ve written “touches” incorrectly as having the stress on the second syllable. (Yell “TOU ches” and then “tou CHES” and see which one sounds better. Never mind the neighbors.) “Hand” ought to get demoted to a weak syllable (by my ear). The line scans fine; it’s the analysis I disagree with.

    In L7, the “qual” in “E qual LY” should be an unstressed syllable, and stressing “give” in “GIVE her” sounds vastly less awkward to me than stressing “her”. (Stressing “her” only makes sense if you’re emphasizing it for contrast–like in the answer to the question “wait, who gets the pat?”)

    In L8, “padding” cannot have two stressed syllables. The stress goes on “PAD” (although actually, I want to demote both syllables to unstressed because they’re next to the strong “FEET”.) Likewise, “open” has the stress on the first syllable.

    L9 is tricky. The placement of the stresses depends on how you interpret the line’s meaning, though I don’t see an easy way of getting it to resolve into IP, or into the pattern you’ve written down. “Inside” naturally has the stress falling on the second syllable, but here, contrast can make a difference. (If you’re contrasting inside with outside, the first syllable gets the stress instead.) Additionally, while you’re right that “RUSH es” has the stress on the first syllable, it is possible for that syllable to get demoted if you’re stressing WARMTH. If the line is meant to contrast the movement of the warmth with the movement of the child, the stress should go:

    WARMTH rush/ es IN/ side, while/ SHE rush/ es OUT
    (trochee iamb pyrrhus trochee iamb)

    Your contrasting pairs there are warmth/she and in/out. This is the meaning that the sentence structure suggests to me–you’ve got two parallel clauses with the same verb, which suggests that I’m supposed to be making a comparison. Incidentally, that one has too many substitutions to scan properly.

    On the other hand, if you just mean to be reporting two sequential events without contrasting them, you can have

    warmth RUSH/ es in/ SIDE, while/ she RUSH/ es OUT
    (iamb pyrrhus trochee iamb iamb)

    I believe that technically scans according to Howard’s rules. It sounds weird to me, but I might have just got a bad sandwich or something.

    In L10, it looks like you should be stressing CREASED and not ON; otherwise things are OK.

    In L11, the second syllable of “LOVE ly” should not be stressed. And the stress ought to fall on SHE in “SHE had”. This unfortunately pushes it over into having too many substitutions to scan. (But that one doesn’t grate. Definitely a bad sandwich.)

    That’s about all. Thanks for putting up with my urge to Explain Things.

    • Thanks, I vastly appreciate your urge to “Explain Things!” Explanations are always welcome here ūüėÄ
      Without it, I’d be muddling through this with no idea what I’m doing wrong. I’m glad I’m making progress. I can’t wait until I’ve gotten this down well enough to abandon it and move on to something else. I already don’t like writing in IP but I’d much rather it be an informed dislike “I don’t like this” because *insert list here* than an “I don’t get this, so screw it” lol.

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