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Hello, this is Frank Hubeny. The prompt today is to identify some poetic technique, theme or style that you enjoy and would like to try yourself by imitating it. Let us know what it is you are trying to practice or imitate. Some of us may want to try imitating it ourselves after seeing what you find enjoyable in a poem.

If you can’t think of anything, don’t worry. In the rest of this prompt, I will try to explain what I would like to imitate. You are welcome to use that.

What I found interesting recently was a stanza from The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson that De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) used in Quadrille #90.

Here is the stanza from a lavishly illustrated by Howard Pyle book of the poem available on the Internet Archive.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
     Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers,
     The Lady of Shalott.

What interests me in this is the hypnotic sound of the meter. There are four beats per line, but rather than being the expected iambic, ta-dum, ta-dum rhythm with an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable, it is backwards. The accented syllable comes first followed by the unaccented syllable making a trochaic meter.

This means the line ends on an unaccented syllable and it does so in seven of the nine lines. At the end of the fifth and ninth lines the final sound, -lot, is accented.

The rhyme pattern is also unusual for me. I am not used to hearing the same rhyme sound in three or four lines one right after the other.

So what I am going to try to do is write a stanza like that one: nine lines with a rhyme pattern AAAABCCCB and using four trochees per line.

Now it is your turn. Either use Tennyson as an example to imitate or find something that you are more interested in trying. Write a poem, note what you have focused on practicing in your poem and post the poem to your blog. Copy the link to your blog post and paste it in the Mister Linky below.

Don’t forget to come back and read what others found worth practicing through imitation. You may find something you would like to try imitating in one of those posts much as I did after reading just a few lines from The Lady of Shalott.