For today’s exercise in rhyming tetrameter couplets we use a prompt that we have used before: broken glass. This will be interesting as you have the option to draw upon description you have already crafted, but adding in the new metric and rhyming constraints. Of course you don’t have to look at previous work, but you must remain sense bound. Have fun!
Dreams collide in broken glass
Scattered, splintered across the floor
Moonlight through a shattered window
Birds and bugs set the tempo
Honeysuckle tickles the nose
Shards sticking in sore soles
Scarlet trickles stain the holes
Twilight painted on fickle floors
Damaged art holds in store
Ev’ry step, scarring spreads
Alive in time, arrive ahead
Embrace the pain, the damage done
Astringents tingle and wake the sun
The eggshells morph to broken glass
to tread from abuse felt in the past
words pour out cutting lips on the way
as lovers learn that bruises are ok
The crocodile tears burn skin as they fall
and shake foundations, cracking walls
as windows blow from loud abuse
but lovers make one final truce
in sick and in health, till death do they part
watching broken glass fly from the shattering heart
(I don’t think that this followed tetrameter very closely! i’ve lost my knack internet was out for awhile!)
Fragments glisten like morning frost
Fear is rife and hope is lost
Sparkling crystals spike the road
For passing dreams to pierce and blow
Every drop a shattered pane
Of beauty never again the same
A thousand diamonds pave the scene
With what is gone and could have been
I feel a tear drip from my eye
As I stand and stare and say goodbye
Some really great words and imagery, but I agree sometimes the rhythm of the lines doesn’t flow optimally well. I think it is great alternating between duple and triple feet (to use the poetry term), but lines like “as lovers learn that bruises are O.K” has three unstressed syllables with “ses are O” which I think is what is throwing it off?
Also looking at the next line “The crocodile tears burn skin as they fall” I imagine you justified this as tetrameter by having burn as an unstressed syllable, but burn is a really important word in this line so you would probably want it stressed? Something like “Crocodile tears burn my skin”, would be a more rhythmically rigorous tetrameter line.
Nice stuff! One thing that comes to mind is with feminine rhymes, i.e where lines end with a trailing unstressed syllable, you might want to rhyme it with the stressed syllable, so I wouldn’t say window and tempo rhyme very well because the o vowell sound is not the important bit of the word, but rather the “in” sound. Really nice imagery and words as ever!
The first four lines are really great. They paint the broken glass beautifully. The one critique (and it is probably the difference between your English accent and my Southern U.S. accent) is that “scene” and “been” are not perfect rhymes in the American tongue. We say scene (I think the same in both dialects) like “seen”. But in the American tongue, we say “been” more like “bin”. I have seen this with other dialects as well with the word “again”. In the American tongue, it is pronounced to rhyme with “bin” or “fin”, not “rain”. That is kind of the fun thing about international collaboration, seeing how different words are spoken. Out of curiosity, what were your stressed syllables in the second to last line for you? I read it with “feel”, “tear”, “drip”, “eye”, but it kind of through off the rhythm when I did so. It’s a good line, I just wondered if you were stressing the same?
Interesting observation, I hadn’t considered the fact we have people from so many parts of the globe (which is unbelievably awesome), all with different dialects. Perfect rhyme not mandatory of course, so I’d say the “bin” version of been still works with seen.
As for the last line, I originally had it as I feel a tear drip from my eye, but this goes against the critique I gave to @Tofu4 in that “from” is not an important word so you are right drip should be the one emphasised here as you have suggested.
And see its bizarre because I read been the way you would say it but when I actually say it out load I say bin. The english language is a bizzare mofo
I think you did pretty well with the syllables. Really, I was just going to say that this is awesome, the way you took the escalation of conflict avoidance into a lovers’ quarrel. Amazing metaphor.
Agreed! I think I’m making over thinking what I’m doing.
I always just have in the back of my head
da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM
and I’m probably just doing near enough is good enough
Hugh! Thank you! I have never thought of having a rhythm meter in the back of my head. I may try to use this for an exercise. I always just write with the idea of natural rhythm finding itself, which leads to some asyncopation. This is really helpful to me.