Friday, July 25, 2008

I don't have rhythm, but I got music...

I have hit a wall in "Little Mark's" schooling. I may need a tutor, for ME! We began learning about poetry today, RHYTHM. I never liked poetry, until college. When I was in Jr. High and High School I hated interpreting poetry. HATED it!

I never understood the whole "rhythm" thing. I always failed the part of when you had to put the stress marks above the words. I mean, wasn't the poem just telling a story with some rhyme? That's what I thought, anyway.

When I reached college my very wise English proffesor said, "We will begin studying poetry this week. How many of you like poetry?" About 5 people in the entire class raised their hands. I was NOT one of them. He then said, "By the end of this I promise that I will prove that each one of you like poetry." OK, I thought, I will accept that challenge.

He then told us to bring in the lyrics to our favorite song, and bring a recording of it. We learned that songs were just poems put to music. In some of the songs brought in that was very evident. Such as "The Rose" by Bette Midler. I had never learned this concept before, and it intrigued me. He did indeed fulfill his promise, and we all agreed we liked poetry.

I still hate the "rhythm" part, and do not understand to this day.

Now, having said that, how do you teach something you don't understand like "poetic rhythm?" I'm at a loss. I do not want "Little Mark" to suffer for my lack of understanding.

I know what I always tell people when they say, "I can't teach that..." I say, get someone else to teach it, to both of you. So, I may be doing just that for this part of it. I want to learn too, because quite frankly I have been all through this lesson trying to figure it out, and I am already get a migraine. This has been a "thorn in my side" for too long! I will overcome it. :-)

So, does anyone reading this know about "rhythm", and can you teach it to me in very basic terms that I understand, and can then teach to "Little Mark?" I would be eternally grateful. :-)

Wendy Darling

  1. The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20


Sarah said...

Had a great but too short chat with Chelle yesterday. Everything is going well here, just way too big and tired to do much of anything. :)

I think that Frost poem is one of the worst as far as figuring out rhythm. Here is a page that explains it a lot better than I can:

If you can use other poems to teach, let me know - there are a lot that have much more of a clear meter and rhythm - Shakespeare is always good for some very clear iambic pentameter!!

WendyDarling said...

Thank you, Sarah!! I will check it out. :-)

I am happy to hear from you, and glad everything is going well. :-)
Love you!! :-)

Terry said...

I think that all of us have a natural rhythm even if we don't think we do. I haven't really been a literary person due to the fact that I am mainly a visual cinematic type of person. I read the Frost poem though and started feeling my inner metronome start to tick (my musical background). Relax and feel the poetry. When that doesn't work, use the internet. If you're not cheating, you're not trying. =)

Princess LadyBug said...

Although I often fell the rhythm of more than just poetry, I'm not sure I could teach it to you. I mean I vaguely remember some of the different names of meters & feet, but I doubt I'd be accurate.

To help you feel the rhythm of the words trying tapping you foot like you would to keep time if you were singing or playing an instrument. Find a you're own rhythm and start tapping before you begin reading. Once you start reading you should naturally start reading with the rhythm. The real trick is discovering the feet of it. Reading it out loud will help you find the stress points that are the feet. Does that make sense?

Poems really are just songs where the author kept the music to themselves. If you need help with the syllables try looking at a few Haiku. Remember they are always the same syllables. 5 - 7 - 5. That might help you pick them out easier in another type of poem.

WendyDarling said...

Thank you, everyone. :-) You have been very helpful! I have also looked at some websites that were recommended, and I believe I may have a handle on it now. :-) Hopefully, I will be able to teach it to "Little Mark" so that he understands it. ;-)