Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.
In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday. You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.
You can read about the history of this series here.
Hi Ho, and Ho, Ho, and Happy Holidays to all! It has been quite some time since my last Hairbag Poet post, and that’s because my loving (loser) brother has been unable (refuses) to send me any new photos from his west coast relocation. So today I have a guest photographer (my friend Carol) who was kind enough to send me some of her awesome (weird) pictures from Paris (my 2nd favorite city).
For a long time I have been wanting to write a post on Iambic Pentameter. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Shakespeare’s primary writing style was probably one of those banes of high school English Class, along with Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales. Trying to read Old, Middle, and Early Modern English was not an easy task as a teenager, and quite frankly isn’t an easy task as an adult either. Although I have struggled with the form of Iambic Pentameter, I yearn to get it right.
Iambic Pentameter is actually the combination of two poetic terms: Iamb and Pentameter. Iamb refers to “A metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable…It is the most common meter of poetry in English” (Poetry Foundation, 2018). As we know, William Shakespeare wrote all of his plays and poems in this meter. According to Poetry Foundation (2018), a pentameter is a line made up of five feet, and is the most common metrical line in English. “Iambic pentameter is a beat of foot that uses 10 syllables in each line” (Literary Devices, 2018).
Here is an example from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night:
“If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall…
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity…
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.”
Brilliant right? I’m almost embarrassed to follow William Shakespeare.
Here’s just a quick history behind my pictures today. My friend Carol spent several weeks in Paris this summer while her husband was working on his book. She would often send me pictures from her days wondering the city. One day I received a picture of these weird looking eyeball street posts, and have to admit I was a little creeped out by them, imagining cameras inside those stony pupils watching one’s every move. I thought they would make an excellent subject for the Hairbag Poet.
This is my first attempt at iambic pentameter, and I hope I managed to get it right. I also wrote in monorhyme which is the use of only one rhyme in each stanza.
I walked along the Paris streets last night;
A city swathed in scintillescent light.
I stumbled on a rather frightening sight,
of painted orb like eyeball pegmatite.
A visual, or a vision, watching me?
Big brother, or just streetwise artistry?
Direction générale de la sécurité?
Either way I find the eyes creepy.
I bowed my head and pulled my hood down low
But eyeballs tracked my movements to and fro
on sidewalks optic archipelago,
Paranoia palpable from head to toe.
I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.
The Hairbag Poet
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!