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Sofhi C
Scanning a poem
Hey Guys! I’m looking for someone that could help me to understand how to scan a poem, including its rhythm, rhymes and so on.

Apr 30, 2020 10:01 PM
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Is the poem in English?
April 30, 2020
Also, sometimes poets will use "poetic license" to make things fit a certain pattern.

Words might be out of place, or syllables missing from words. Archaic words might be used.
Here's a poem I wrote in 2008. I split sentences across lines without a natural break at times to keep the rhyming pattern going. I eliminated some syllables. I also used "There's" when grammatically it should be "There are".

The Football Team

There’s two sides to ev’ry story they say.
That’s true. I can visualize this day
The two sides of my life. I may lay
In my bed thinking of the great way
I have lived and how it’s been A-OK.
My friends deserted me, but that’s alright.
I’ve made new ones that stay in sight.
When the going got tough, they quickly took flight.
I have a grand time reflecting at night.
During the day, I lift things with all my might.
Choices I made call for my new friend Jack.
He’s trying real hard to separate me from crack.
I listen real hard as his mouth goes yackety yack.
It’s hard to believe how fast my life got off-track.
Oh wait, it’s all because I wanted to turn time back.
Reality, you see, is really quite diff’rent.
New struggles, no, there aren’t. Bent
Down in pain, I scream, just to vent.
I grasp the wall to move around the apartment.
This method is how I always went.
I never chose to live this way, but someone
Else wanted me this way. I just can’t run,
Or catch the ball. My role on the team isn’t none.
It’s to think how we can get the game won.
To this end, my job will never be done.
There’s different parts on the football team,
And to play the runner, for me it’d seem
I’d have to go back, but from what I seen
That’s a place I wouldn’t want to be.
I’ll play the part I’ve been given on God’s football team.
May 1, 2020
Thanks James! You’ve really helped me a lot with this info since it is rather difficult to find some on the internet. I really appreciate it!
May 1, 2020
You can also have sight poems. These are poems which resemble a picture. Words may be split unnaturally to form the picture. Imagine the following (with real words in place of the "x"'s):

x

x
x
x
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This might represent a birthday cake with a candle on it. The letters of the words would be where the x's are. This could make it difficult to read, but right away, just by looking at the poem, you might get an idea that a birthday is being celebrated. There could potentially be no spaces in the poem, although there could be punctuation.
May 1, 2020
Perhaps more complicated is determining feet and accents. You need to determine stressed and unstressed syllables in the words. This determines iambic, dactyl, etc.

Once you have determined the stressed / unstressed patterns in the line, you can determine the number of feet. If there are five groups of unstressed- stressed syllables, you would have iambic pentameter.

With iambic pentameter, you might have a couple of lines that don't quite fit the unstressed - stressed pattern.

If you had fourteen lines in the poem, and one line didn't quite match up to the iambic pentameter pattern, that is ok. The poem is still considered iambic pentameter.

There are other patterns besides iambic.

You can look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_(prosody) for explanations on other stressed and unstressed syllables.

Remember that you are looking for the pattern of stressed and unstressed.
May 1, 2020
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Sofhi C
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language
English