Can you please help me write two lines of iambic pentameter for my English homework? I know how to do them but have writer's block. I would gladly use William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, but that wasn't written by someone like me.

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As said below, sometimes just thinking about other things for a short time can help writer's block. Sometimes, too, it helps just to get started: keep in mind that what you write doesn't have to be great, just good enough. You don't have to be Shakespeare—though that would be terrific!

You are right in thinking you can't write exactly like Shakespeare: our language has changed significantly in the last four hundred odd years since he penned his last words.

If you are trying to write a couplet in iambic pentameter in a sonnet mode, note that sonnets often express personal emotions, and they can be both serious and comic.

As you know, iambic pentameter uses ten syllables in a line, going from unstressed to stressed. You might write about an event that is happening right now, so I will do that as an example, perhaps in a more lighthearted mode.


My FINgers BEND too COLD to HOLD a PEN.

That might not be what you want to end up with, but it is a start.

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Here are two iambic pentameter lines:

Within the tide of things behind the eyes
Resides the sight of one unloved, unbeheld

Maybe you can improve on these lines by changing some of the words. At any rate, perhaps they will give you a jump start. Also, if you need help in your writing, do not forget to check eNotes's "how-to" topics.

(Sometimes when people have writer's block, they go out for a walk or do something else. One writer at Time said that he cleaned his desk and straightened his file drawers. While he was performing this activity, his mind would connect ideas for the article he was assigned. These unconnected activities, scientists have found through study, do, indeed, connect ideas.)

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