How can I understand iambs better?I have an assignment due where I have to take a previously written paragraph of at least 250 words and turn it into an iamb. I received some help on this board but...

How can I understand iambs better?

I have an assignment due where I have to take a previously written paragraph of at least 250 words and turn it into an iamb. I received some help on this board but am still having trouble. Can someone look over my paragraphs and help fix it? I need to make sure the second one is ALL in iambs. I'm usually a good student and definitely not lazy, but this particular assignment is giving me trouble and making me feel dumb. Please help!!!

Asked on by sammyk

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morrol's profile pic

morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Here is a sentence that you can't help but say in iambic pentameter:

"I am a pirate with a wooden leg."

Try saying that a few times. Most normal speech is in iambs already, so adjusting a paragraph to read in iambs is not a huge adjustment.

"Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory Of the Coming of the Lord" is a great song to listen to in order to feel the rhythm of iambs. Try to find that song streaming somewhere and listen to it a couple of times to see if it helps.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

SammyK, don't give up!!  Again, just go over your paragraph to make sure that the rhythm is ta-DUM ta-DUM ta-DUM all the way through.  Remember, too, that if you have words that are more than two syllables, your unstressed and stressed syllables will carry over.  One IAMB is an unstressed and stressed syllable. For instance, in the following from John Milton's PARADISE LOST, "Of" is unstressed, "Man's" is stressed, "first" is unstressed, "dis" is stressed, "o" is unstressed, "bed" is stressed, "i" is unstressed and "ence" is stressed.  So, the first line of the following poem will be broken into iambs like this:  Of Man's/first dis/obed/ience/and the/ fruit.   It continues with the rest of the words.  Read them aloud in a typical conversational voice and listen for the rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables:

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World,

stephensbrooke's profile pic

stephensbrooke | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I have been taught about iambs for at least 5 years but i still do not understnd them at all. I do paces and the book i am in is all about poetry so i need help fast!

sammyk's profile pic

sammyk | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

It's not letting me post my work. Nevermind, I give up with iambs!

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