Saturday, 17 April 2010

C is for Couplet

I know a woman whose name is Dennis
Her name was not meant to be a menace

Her parents longed for her to be a boy
But when she came forth they had little joy

Until they decided no matter what
Dennis would be Dennis boy or not

Couplets are two lines of verse. When read aloud you can pick up the rhythm of the poem. In the above example the couplets also rhyme. This is done by having the last word on the first line of the couplet rhyme with the last word on the second line of the couplet.

To write the couplet above, I began with a basic idea. An idea can be on any topic. Also, you can build upon your idea by making your poems into more than one couplet. As you can see from the example above three couplets have been written.

Decide on what style your couplet will take in order to assist you in your writing process.

One specific style is an open couplet. Here you will write two lines of verse that rhyme. However, if you decide to carry over the thought you have in one line to the next without pausing, your poem will be said to have lines that are enjambed.

Another specific style is the closed couplet. Again, you will write two lines of verse that rhyme and that can build into a longer narrative. The one distinction being each line must end. The poetic term for this is end-stopping, which is the opposite of enjambment. Here each line of poetry is a complete thought. You can also use full-stop punctuation to show that you have completed your thought by the end of the line in your couplet verse.

Why not build your couplets into a longer narrative and illustrate your work further with a photo-story. There is another form of couplet that can ideally be used here, namely, the heroic couplet.

As with open and closed couplets, lines are written in pairs and rhyme. Adopting a heroic couplet style, however, means adopting masculine rhymes. There are a few more elements to consider when choosing to write in heroic couplet style of verse. Masculine rhymes are when the last syllable in the line of verse is stressed.

If you remember our article on iambic pentameter when the line of the poem is measured out in ten syllables with the stress on every second beat, this is the same style you would adopt for the heroic couplet. Also you would use the closed couplet style of poetic verse to build your narrative. By being strict with the way in which you construct your couplet verse you can also have a lot of fun.

Why not put together a photo-story either to assist you with ideas for your couplet verse or as a means of further illustrating your poem. Either way you have the means at your disposal to end up with memorable photo-story-poetry.

When putting together a photo-story you would consider putting together a series of photographs to essentially tell the story. However, a photo-story that uses photographs and poetic verse has two elements (photographs and verse) that must somehow compliment each other. Working with photographs and verse to tell an overall story makes you consider how the two relate to each other.

Our suggestion is to take lots of photographs first. Overall, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to take some fun photos and have lots of inspirational material at hand. You might then want to use one photograph for each couplet verse.

Although couplets are two lines of verse, you can write several two line verses to make a longer poem.

Couplets can be written in open, closed or heroic style of verse.

Adding photographs to your couplet verse poem can provide you with the means to extend your ideas or be part of the overall story.

© Copyright e1top 2010

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