FORM ~ ‘Iambic Tetrameter” with James Hanna-Magill!  March 26, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Contest Completed


First prize Winner! - Echoes of an Autumn Rain
Second prize - Grecian Urn
Third prize - [writing deleted]
Fourth prize - Death's Speaking Dream


FORM ~ ‘Iambic Tetrameter” with James Hanna-Magill!

WRITE A POEM using the following instructions for a guide and adhere strictly the criteria.

"Iambic Tetrameter"

'Iambic Tetrameter is a fixed form of poetry used by many in days gone by.

The basic principle lies in beats to the bar.

In each line there are eight syllables, bunched into four pairs, where the first syllable is short and the second accented or long.

One of the most famous examples is Wordsworth's 'I wandered lonely as a cloud'

"To show how the meter works, here is an analysis of the first two lines:

I WAN|-dered LONE|-ly AS | a CLOUD
That FLOATS | on HIGH | o’er VALES | and HILLS.

The basic rhythm when read aloud is: da DUM / da DUM / da DUM / da DUM"

You will see the short syllables in normal script and the long in capitals.

As for shape and rhyme, Wordsworth here had 24 lines, broken into 4 stanzas of 6 lines each with a consistent rhyme of ABABCC.

Hence the first verse:

I wandered lonely as a Cloud (A)
That floats on high o'er vales and Hills, (B)
When all at once I saw a crowd, (A)
A host, of golden Daffodils; (B)
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees, (C)
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. (C)

Other famous examples are William Blake's poem / famous English hymn 'And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time. Here he uses Iambic Tetrameter as above but instead has four verses of four lines each where the rhyme is consistently ABCB:

First verse:

And did those feet in ancient time (A)
Walk upon England’s mountains green? (B)
And was the holy Lamb of God(C)
On England’s pleasant pastures seen? (B).

If you want to see many examples of use of Iambic Tetrameter visit the following website:

Your challenge is to write a poem with whatever rhyme (but a consistent one) you wish where each line is always in Iambic Tetrameter.

Your poem should be 12 lines long, either 2 sets of 6 lines or 3 sets of 4.

Or, if you wish you can write a longer poem, but it must follow the same form throughout.

Happy hunting!'

James Hanna-Magill

James will be judging the submissions.

Helena :)


$00, Blue Ribbon & Stars!


Helen Margaret Crutchett
Helen Margaret Crutchett
N.S.W., Australia


8 Contestants
8 Submissions
Created Mar 27, 2015