Tetrameter Lines - Sunset

We started out learning to write about objects using language that is sensorily engaging. We then developed this further with the idea of metaphors letting us write about objects using the sensory language of a completely different thing. Now we are going to carry all of this forward, but to shape it more toward songwriting we are going to start introducing some metric constraints.

Today we will be writing about the sunset in tetrameter lines. A tetrameter line simply contains 4 stressed syllables. We are not specifying a strict iambic tetrameter (-/-/-/-/) or anapaestic tetrameter (–/–/–/–/) as in songwriting it is only the stressed syllables that are usually constrained, different verses will typically vary the number of unstressed syllables in between to fit the words in).

You can write as many lines as you want, and don‘t worry about rhyming as that will be introduced a few days down the line. Try to use all the stuff we have been doing so far to bring your words to life. Good luck and enjoy!

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The resonance of atrophied
Collected days awash in pink
And orange streaked horizon
When skin is crawling, cooling down
And birds all screech in warping sound
Survived the heat now winding out
The spiral night it swirls with stars
And jasmine blooms to send us home

I should say that I have never in my life given thought to stressed syllables, and only twice paid attention to number of syllables (and that was for poetry, not song). so these will be really tough for me! Looking forward to expanding my horizons.


The dawn it wandered through the sky
It passed the birds with feathered frown
Its blazing journey said goodbye
to clouds that cursed and cowered down
They fell together at the seam
Where sky and ocean dare to meet
Displaying colors rarely seen
A firework of heavenly dream

I really like “the birds all screech in warping sound” and “the spiral night it swirls with stars” such a great lines that fits the meter so well! Im not sure if “and orange streaked horizon” quite fits the objective, although I could be reading it wrong… Nice work

When shadows leave you for the night
Moonlight beams and softly plays
On branches birds sing their goodbye
For day returns with warming kiss
Your eye’s adjust for dreams displayed
projector eyelids for movies of mind
as twilight fades with one last breath

My favorite thing is that you went through the whole day, the rising, traveling across the sky, and finally setting over the ocean is a cool thing to relay. The ending with fireworks of colors rarely seen is a wonderful ending. Great job! (and you even have a great rhyme scheme!)

About mine, yeah, I threw mine together pretty quickly. It just so happened that the sunset here on the east coast is often hugely bright with oranges, pinks, and violets before it sinks. (On the west coast, you sometimes get the green flash). But I feel like orange is not a great sunsetty word for most folks, I could definitely choose a more appropriate word. Thank you!

Shadows leaving for the night is such a neat way of showing sunset/night. I love the “eyes adjust for dreams displayed” line. That has so much visual, tactile, and emotional charge. It may be my favorite line of yours so far. Wonderful.

The sky ablaze with fervid flames
As the sinking sun begins to fall
Orange hues thrown on the hills
As the light slowly drains away
Shadows bathe in the final glow
As night begins its ghostly reign.

You‘ve got good visuals, good bodily sensations with the cooling skin, good sounds with the birds and even a good scent by mentioning the jasmine. Great use of nearly all the senses!

Very beautiful, although that “it“ seems a little bit forced into the metre. Little words like “dare“ are what really bring this alive, and the final couplet is particularly beautiful - well done!

Nice incorporation of some metaphor in there with the projector eyelids! I think the birds singing their goodbyes in the growing beam of moonlight is really nice - well done!

That first line is huge, very dramatic and nicely written. I like the contrast of the sky being ablaze, and then the light draining away from the hills.

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Tucked beneath her blanket sky
She kisses eyes with purple light
Swirled serene with blushed marquee
We drift into the night with ease

I was today years old when I learned about unstressed/stressed syllables, so this might be incorrect! Figuring out whether a single syllable word is stressed or unstressed was stressful :wink:

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I was in the same boat as you!!! But I think you nailed it. The imagery here is wonderful, and quite impactful. The “comfortable/cozy” feeling of sunset is tremendous here. The word usage is outstanding! The only real comment I have is for the last line. This is a problem we all have had. If I am reading the stresses correctly it is: we DRIFT inTO the NIGHT with EASE. The problem is that “to” being emphasized. Grammatically it is correct, but the emphasized syllable is not a strong one. If you replaced the stress with a stronger word, it would be more impactful. For instance, something like “we DRIFT to COzy NIGHT with EASE” or “we DRIFT through SHAMEless NIGHT with EASE”. That way, we don’t throw away a stress on “to”. I just used “cozy” and “shameless” because that was the sense I got. I’m sure there are better words. Make sense? You’ll see that we all had issues like that (and still do!). Nothing to concern yourself about, just something to consider.


I glad to hear you had a similar experience! I read everyone’s work, and thought, "everyone already knows how to do this? " :sweat_smile: I watched some youtube videos, but the thing I understood the most was actually the book, which I’m glad I have.
And, I see what you’re saying about emphasizing stronger words, makes total sense. It’ll take me a minute to fully wrap my head around these new concepts.

Great to hear that you are learning new theory here, and very successfully putting it into practice! There is something about writing in meter like this that really brings the words to life, and in combination with some rich images (swirling, drifting, blanket sky) I’d say this is a lovely piece of writing. Well done!

Excellent feedback - we can all be guilty of stressing unimportant words. Also worth noting @WLDFLOW3R that whilst you have maintained a strict DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM, you are also permitted to chuck in little triplets, so-called dactyls in the poetry lingo (DUM da da). This is why I say only the number of stressed syllables are constrained, not the unstressed. So you could solve the final line with something like “We DRIFT to the NIGHT on a RAFT of EASE”.

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