Sunday, 20 February 2011


A mortal sin, a dreadful thing, this feel,
Yet so good, so unbelievably good,
It matters to some of us a good deal,
Will make us happy, incredibly rude,
And simply unbearable to others,
Yet something we all want to be quickly,
It makes some to enemies, or brothers,
A feeling so wonderful, heavenly.


  1. Muffin Man, strong though this is in terms of content, the metre is a bit all over the place, I’m afraid. The first line is fine, apart from the poor unhappy “feel” at the end, which kind of knows it’s not a proper word, doesn’t it?

    And the fourth line is spot-on too. But too many of the other lines end up with stresses in places that feel and sound wrong when read aloud. For example, in line 2, the stresses fall “Yet SO good, SO un-BE-liev-AB-ly GOOD”. Read that out loud, then read “So GOOD, so UN-be-LIEV-a-BLAB-ly GOOD”. My line, though it includes a word that doesn’t quite exist (“unbelievabably”, does hit the words at the right moments. Note too that both “goods” are stressed. Poetic metre isn’t just about having the right words in the poem, but giving the poem meaning by stressing the most important words, and stressing the words at the right places.

    Other words that are stressed wrong here include “unbearable” (should be un-BEAR-able, not UN-bear-ABLE) and “enemies” (should be E-ne-MIES, not e-NE-mies). Also, “quickly” and “heavenly” don’t rhyme, because they end in the same sound (if you wanted a rhyme for “quickly” in this poem it would have to be something like “fig tree”, much good may it do you!)

    Perhaps poetic metre isn’t your forte – and that’s not a problem: no one says you have to write sonnets (outside of this blog) – but I hope at least you can see the rules, how they apply, and you can understand they’re not something you can bend.

  2. Hiya Muffin Man,
    This is an interesting emotion to write about, and you’ve done it really well, using interesting images and I really like the way that you’ve used the juxtaposition of the bad and good. Unfortunately the meter lets it down a little. Perhaps the use of longer words muddles it because of the amount of syllables and the odd emphasis.
    The first line is good, although feel is a little odd to put here, perhaps instead of ‘this feel’ you could change it to ‘it is’. I would try and change the words unbelievable, incredibly, unbearable and heavenly, as they are awkward. Be careful with the repetition on words, as they get boring and seem unimaginative. The second line has the emphasis on the first word, which doesn’t fit with the dee DUM pattern, and throws everything else off beat. In the third line, if we were to say it as a sentence, the natural emphasis would fall on the words some, us and good whereas in your poem there is a forced emphasis on the to, of and a. Unbearable has the emphasis in the middle, where you have forced it at the beginning and end. I would suggest saying the words in an unrelated sentence to see where you naturally stress the word.
    Good try and I love the images and the way it starts negative and ends positive.


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