Recently I have been reading some good poetry on poet’s blogs.  I have been following unbolt, aspiringwriter22, A Scribe to Describe, Annette Rochelle Aben, A Little Me, Apparently, and several others.  This has brought me to thoughts and musings about poetry in general, the rhythm of poetry, specifically.

Rhythm is what makes poetry catchy.  It is the entire movement, flow, the recurring stressed and unstressed pattern of syllables.  The rhythm of poetry reflects the rhythm in all of life–the pull of the moon on the tides, the pulse and beat of circulation, the change and sequence of the seasons.  Rhythm involves stress, timing, pace, pitch, tone, diction, and the total meaning of the poem.  However, rhythm in poetry does not solely come from the physical elements employed.  Poetry is infused with appeals to the unconscious, the connotative shadings that affect and are affected by rhythm.  The nervousness, tension, and energy in a poem come from its rhythm.

Our expertise in the spoken English language is basically iambic, but much of our memorable speech depends on strong stresses, irregularity of rhythms or “sprung rhythms.”  Some cherished poetry has heavily pronounced, strongly stressed rhythms.  It is written to be sung or danced.

I am just beginning to feel the rhythms of classical music this morning and think I will go through my folder of “Poems to Be Shared” as I listen.  Maybe I will think more about poetry and its rhythms later today as I go about my housework and schoolwork.

And that is what I’m musing on this Monday morning.


Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.


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