Day Three: a Fourteener

Day THREE: NaPoWriMo

Our featured participant today is Oaks to Acorns, which took our star-based prompt for Day 2 in a novel and charming direction.

Our featured resource for the day is Poems by Heart, an app that helps you memorize poems. If you’ve never tried to memorize a poem, it’s easier than you think, and has lasting benefits! Memorization, ironically enough, helps you to read better, by forcing you to “act out” the poem. It also gives you a means to entertain yourself (yes, I have spent time while waiting for buses quietly reciting “The Raven” to myself).

And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist. The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads, but it also is the form in which “Casey at the Bat” is written. The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of “Casey at the Bat” shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs.

Poem in progress !!


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