Iambs and Trochees

IAMBICS:

Until
the world
returns
to sane,
I will
not fail
to write.

These words, though just
small things, can burst
through walls; there must
be words of peace.

Inside my head the world
is pure, and thoughts, like rain
that falls to earth in spring
can cleanse the hearts of men.

To me, there is no better act
than this: to heal the wounds of hate
by writing of the joys of life
to feed the hungry soul’s delight.

Upon the page these words seem small and weak,
but in their pale disguise they hide a strength
that breaks the bonds of man’s insane desire
and lifts aspiring minds above despair.

How can these words release the world from strife and woe?
With what strange force does language steel our broken hearts?
A glimpse of hope for future times — strong poet stock
that with their arts, seek beauty and forsake the dark.

Perhaps it is just wistful whimsy, still it could yet come to pass
that the bold rhetoric of failure is replaced with song
and some new speech of love and beauty may dethrone the damned
expression of the cynic’s pen, and rule a juster race.

TROCHAICS:

Quiet.
Can you
Hear that
Sound?

Pound the drum, and
Light the signal
Fires! Tonight we
Fight for freedom!

On the field of valor
we shall triumph over
all that come to meet us.
Can you taste the glory?

Never mind the pain and bleeding
Suck it up and just keep swinging
Listen, if you stop, you’ll hear it —
Celebration for the victors.

Find your rhythm and stick to it bravely
Cowards never taste of life so fully
Just remember all your children growing
They shall take your torch and keep it burning

Don’t cry out, the enemy is drawing nearer
Bite your sword, the metal will revive your spirit
Give me your long knife, I’ll cut your tunic from you
And your family seal, I’ll give to your proud widow

They will toast your deeds there by the hearth fire’s glowing embers
Your young sons will lift aloft your bloody battle armor
History will keep your name alive and in our myths and legends
Longer than the seas are wide, until the mountains crumble.

17 AUG 2003

This week (and for the next few weeks) the emphasis is on rhythm. The exercise was to write a poem using iambic feet, with each successive stanza adding an additional foot (first stanza, monometer, last stanza, heptameter).

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