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ti-ti-tum...

Anapests & iambs.

So I recently did a great little online poetry course written by Harry Dewulf. He's a deep thinker and excellent communicator, and the course was also a lot of fun.

I learned that an 'anapest', of which every limerick is built, has a ti-ti-tum rhythm where the stress is on the tum.

An 'iamb', of which Shakespeare uses five in each line of his iambic pentameters, is ti-tum.

all-an-a-pests-are-here-by-sent-a-way!

So a whole limerick runs:

ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum,
ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum,
ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum,
ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum,
ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum, ti-ti-tum.

I practiced writing a few of these, so here is a limerick about a feline friend:

There once was a pus named Jemima
On our sofa is where you will find her
You had better behave
After all, you're her slave
There's no queen in these parts who is finer!

And a verse (especially fun if you like hot cross buns) written in iambic pentameter:

If you should toast a hot cross bun today
Don't let yourself be distracted away
A breath too long and it will turn to flame
Your juicy cake will never be the same
And you'll not find another one to blame
So concentrate it's not a time to play
Trust me this ash biscuit will ruin your day

You can begin to see that there are always likely to be a few spare ti's, but we can get away with that providing that all the tum's are in the right places.

I struggled with a few lines and needed Harry's guidance to coax the anapests and iambs into line. So below I'll show you a more challenging iambic pentameter verse. 'Botella' is a Spanish word meaning bottle - hot water bottle in this context - and is pronounced 'Bo-tay-ya'. This one isn't great, but shows you the challenges of the form.

Sleeping downstairs I see the morning light
Don't doubt the beauty of this lovely sight
Long summer days i find this quite a treat
Especially when it warms up my cold feet
Yes well the night before can feel quite chilly
So sleep with a botella, it's not silly!

(Link to Harry's course:    https://www.udemy.com/share/100QTw/)

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