How to Write a Poem in Iambic Pentameter



Watch more How to Write Fiction & Poetry videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/297008-How-to-Write-a-Poem-in-Iambic-Pentameter

The most common meter in poetry, iambic pentameter is famously associated with William Shakespeare. Here’s how you can rhyme like a modern-day bard.

Step 1: Know feet
Know that an iamb is a rhythmic unit called a foot and is a combination of unstressed and stressed syllables. One word with two syllables, like “instead,” could be an iamb, or two monosyllabic words could be an iamb, like “she wants.”

Step 2: Know meter
Understand that pentameter is a meter that means the iamb is repeated five times. So iambic pentameter is a line of poetry with five iambs.

Tip
Use this famous line from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as a guide: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Step 3: Choose a rhyme scheme
Choose a rhyme scheme, like ABAB. Each letter represents the ending sound of the line, so ABAB means the first line rhymes with the third, and the second line rhymes with the fourth.

Step 4: Write four lines
Draw a row of five short lines on your paper. Write one iamb – one unstressed syllable and one stressed – on each line until you have 10 syllables in iambic pentameter.

Step 5: Repeat
Repeat for the next three lines, making sure the last syllable of line one rhymes with the end of line three, and the end of line two rhymes with the end of line four.

Step 6: Expand to a sonnet
Expand the four lines to create a sonnet, which comprises fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The Shakespearean sonnet typically has a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

Tip
The four lines together in a sonnet are called a quatrain, while the ending two lines are called a rhyming couplet.

Step 7: Study famous poets
Study the works of great poets who used the form, including Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Did You Know?
Did you know? Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets.

source

Fahad Hameed

Fahad Hashmi is one of the known Software Engineer and blogger likes to blog about design resources. He is passionate about collecting the awe-inspiring design tools, to help designers.He blogs only for Designers & Photographers.

36 thoughts on “How to Write a Poem in Iambic Pentameter

  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    How to write a poem in Iambic Pentameter (as explained by this video)

    All you need is a full understanding of what Iambic Pentameter is, and how it works. Along with examples of other people doing it first.

    Step 1: Write a poem in Iambic Pentameter, following the rules and timing of Iambic Pentameter, if you get stuck, check your examples, then try again.
    (Pro tip, if your poem sucks, try making a better one)

    That concludes today's lesson!

    Join us next week as we explore how to build a rocket-ship in one easy step, for anyone with an advanced degree in astrophysics, $1,000,000,000 in funding, and a team of 10,000 highly skilled engineers and scientists.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Thank you so much for that tutorial!
    Kendrick Lamar also raps in this style.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    BUT HOW can you tell what is stressed and what isn't!? This is driving me crazy. The internet is just like "you can tell"–NO I CAN'T. >=( Never understood it in middle school, still don't in college.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Have to write a personal Iambic Pentameter by Monday.  The teacher said "I cant do these very well so good luck"
    yay school.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Anything can be a poem, this is how to write a sonnet. Sonnets are pretty hard to compose, but they're actually really pretty and flow nicely. They're definitely worth reading, and they're worth a try to compose. It's just 14 lines composed of 10 syllables in each line, ending in an ababcdcdefefgg rhyme scheme. If any one of those concepts is hard for you just leave it out of your first few poems. Good luck!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Your first line only has 3 iambs, your second line only has 3 1/2, and your fourth line has 4. Furthermore "Go" and "It" don't rhyme, if you wanted a rhyme scheme. See:

    Your pentameter is not very good
    Keep working on it bro, and you will see
    that practice makes perfect as it should
    then maybe you could write a poem for me!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    And here's the second verse!

    HAMLET: Gee gosh, what to do?
    CLAUDIUS/
    GERTRUDE: Please go spy.
    ROSENCRANTZ/
    GUILDENSTERN: My Lord!
    HAMLET: Bet they sent you.
    ROSENCRANTZ/
    GUILDENSTERN: You’re sly.
    HAMLET: Fishmonger?
    POLONIUS: No lad.
    HAMLET: You’re a dad?
    POLONIUS: Poor guy’s mad.
    HAMLET: Hmmm. Should I or should I not die?

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Here's the first stanza from "Ham-letting", a summary of Hamlet in limerick verse (from the Tangled Limericks website):

    ALL: The King’s dead.
    CLAUDIUS: So let’s wed.
    GERTRUDE: Well, okay.
    HAMLET: I’m so sad.
    CLAUDIUS: Don’t be bad.
    GERTRUDE: Just be gay.
    GHOST: Hey Hamlet, t’was bro’.
    HAMLET: That clap-addled schmo!
    HORATIO/ My Lord?
    MARCELLUS:
    HAMLET: Take an oath!
    HORATIO/
    MARCELLUS: We’ll ne’er stray!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Yes, and they only wear Nike!
    The more you know.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Theirs no way of learning to be a poet, You just have to put your thoughts words and your words to a story. Its kinda like free styling, Try to look up Miles Hodges "Maskless" tht inspired me

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    of course they don't mention chaucer who all of those poets based their work off of

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    I saw a poem passing me by, it was running so fast and It run run a distance of 5,000 feet. After it finished running the poem was all stressed and tired. Stupid poem, I wonder why it had to run when it could have taken the bus to get to its destination.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    i would really like to write some poetry
    but this consept is alittle hard to grasp
    thanks much for the vid/ trying to teach me
    but its not like i really like howcast

    ok now time to watch some smosh

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Let me have a go:

    I want to be a poet,
    but I don't think I can do it.

    Oh hey! 😀 I'm a natural!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Hilarious 😀 I'll vote for you when you run for presidency!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Come here to learn about poetic meter
    requirements: and understanding of poetic meter
    nooooo

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Want to write a poem ? take a pad and pen …. and push your imagination button …. your first poem wont be as good as Shakesphere's ,, but each poem you write will be better than the last one …. plus : Dont give up !

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    Iambic pentameter does not have to Rhyme. Iambic Pentameter has NOTHING to do with Rhyming. It is simply the measurement of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up 5 feet. And no, poetry is not "supposed" to rhyme and sonnets do not have to rhyme or be written in Iambic Pentameter. So much misinformation is such a short video.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    @fcpusername If you choose to be a pedant, and speak of grammatical concepts, Then please correct your sentence. Lol or dont I just laughed when I read your comment to saintsFlow

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    dont fucking tell me what to do got that?

    sincerely,
    Peepz who don't kno what ur talking bout

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 7:00 am
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    @agvoerdict Yes it does; a pentameter has 10 syllables. "If mu-sic be the food of love, play on."

    Reply

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