A poem from 2009, that I seem to have written a rationale for; I attempted to write a love poem without the word ‘love’ in it. This one’s fun out loud due to my choice of Dactylic Tetrameter; the nature of the structure is that it rolls off the tongue as an ever-flowing list.
Really I’ve never been quite so assuredly, Hopelessly wanting to open up honestly, Never before have my hands been this slippery, Throat been so tight and the sweat seems to drip off me, Panic, I cannot see! Blacking out hastily, Trying to say to you just what you mean to me, Seems to me- Palpitate! Seeing things fuzzily, Hanging on, wait a while, saying things funnily, Running along with my words out in front of me, Wanting to let it out, phrasing it messily; I adore everything about you, don’t you see? I can’t live without you living here next to me, Please don’t go- Give me a minute- Attentively Listen to what I say, then you can vent on me, Hair and your eyes and your hands, not just what I see, Warmth and your words and your scent and your charity, Got to say, really, I’m hopelessly, utterly, Brash, though, and clumsily, but unabashedly, Deeply and happily, quite so assuredly- Going to say to you just what you mean to me. I adore everything about you next to me, Smiling and graceful – my perfect serenity. Standing eternally in this tranquillity, Please agree pleasantly, presently: unity. Now I present to thee, wholly and finally, Trust and security, one opportunity, I will endeavour, however perpetually, To keep you safe and forever be next to me. Honest, assuredly, really, and duly. Confident, deeply, and madly, and truly. ‘Confidently Enamoured’ rationale. My poem is a declaration of love from one person to another, but from a person seriously lacking in confidence, which I used to create humour for the greater part of the poem. Dactylic Tetrameter was my choice for the rhythm and meter of the poem, as it seems to me to sound like a list; I usually always find myself reciting shopping lists to dactylic tetrameter, “Meat and then Veg and then Eggs and then Broccoli…” and the speaker of my poem is attempting to list to his love interest what she means to him. For a poem about love, the decision was made before starting the piece to not include the word ‘love’, and I took it upon myself to then not include its various other forms – lovely, lovingly, loved, lover, loves, etc. This was to set a challenge for me, but also, by not including such phrases as “I love you” I avoid using stereotypical phrases found in the majority of amateur love poetry. My decision to stick to Dactylic Tetrameter throughout, without including any other metric pattern or rhythm, ensures the speed of the reader’s nervousness is upheld, even in the final section where he does gain confidence and slow his speech down. The rhyming pattern is a constant AA for 26 lines, with a few half-rhymes that may deviate, but still maintain the sense that the speaker is getting nowhere. The large section is littered with small moments of panic in his desperate attempt to say his feelings, “Blacking out hastily”, “Seeing things fuzzily”, which are completely missing once he calms down at the end and gives a brief, personal, and controlled summation of his emotions towards the listener. One may notice the heavy use of words that are suffixed by ‘ily’, ‘edly’, and ‘antly’. Finding words that adhere to dactylic rhythm is difficult, especially when finding dactylic words that rhyme with ‘e’. My lexicon was very limited, and I then could only use pleasant words that one would find in a love poem. Though keeping to the dactylic tetrameter was a very difficult task, it was the mental grinding to conjure suitable words that I really found to be the enjoyable challenge. In the arduous editing process, I removed the final 2 lines that seemed fitting thematically, but did not follow the metric pattern. I replaced them with 4 new lines that formed a better final conclusion, and an ending couplet that replaces their final syllable with a pause. These silent syllables provide an ultimate act of collected confidence and calmness from the speaker.