A Poetry Lesson

I learned a poetry lesson from a 14-year-old girl while she was in high school. Today she’s not in my life anymore, but I see on Facebook that she is a mother.

Iambic Pentameter is poetry. Each line has five soft syllables, each one followed by a hard syllable:

taDa, taDa, taDa, taDa, taDa.

Iambic means foot and pentameter means five – five feet per line.

A cow was seen one night a-cross the moon,
By lov-ers back on Earth a night in June.

“Try it,” she said.

I wrote two lines that followed the pattern.

A fourteen-year-old girl learns lots in school,
Then runs to swim in her old uncle’s pool.

“How’s that?” I asked.

“It’s the right rhythm, but low on substance,” she said.

Out of the mouths of babes!

Her English instructor had taught beyond technique.

“A good poem has good thought behind it,” the teacher had said.

I read the lines again and gave them some thought.

The girl in school is not a fool at all,
She learns to think; it makes her feel quite tall.

“You got it,” she said.

Back in school she was a rapscallion, causing her teachers grief some days, and doing them proud the next. She was smart as a whip. That 14-year-old girl is now the mother of two cute young boys.

She wears motherhood well.

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