Next time you go to your journal, try this exercise:
Instead of writing in your usual conversational or stream of consciousness tone, write each of your thoughts using poetic rhythm.
There are four major types of poetic rhythm:
Iambic ( x / ) – stress on the last of two syllables
Trochaic ( / x ) – stress on the first of two syllables
Dactylic ( / x x ) – stress on the first of three syllables
Anapest ( x x / ) – stress on the last of three syllables
Examples of Poetic Rhythm:
Iambic – But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
Trochaic – Once upon a midnight dreary/ While I pondered, weak and weary
Dactylic – Hickory, dickory dock
Anapest – ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Applying poetic rhythm to your everyday thoughts might bring about some unexpected surprises.
Examples from my own journal:
Rising late depresses me. The morning’s light is wasted.
Yesterday, a hesitant smile, from one girl to another.
Cleaning, scrubbing, bleach and gossip- overwhelm and humor mix.
Confession: I envy my girlfriend in Ireland. I long for the silence of roadside cairns.
What if there are deep misgivings, when in China I arrive?
October’s flowers are amazing. Look at how they lean and curl
bright and sharp in waning light- defiant as autumn unfurls.
Forcing random thoughts into rhythms, you suddenly have the seeds for poetry.
Happy journaling, everyone 🙂