Metre (1)

Contemporary writers resist metre for a number of reasons. A few may have a tin ear, or two left feet, and can neither hear the distinctive beat pattern, nor feel it on the dance floor of the page. Others do hear the beats distinctly, but consider the tum-te-tum of metre childish, like the singsong of nursery rhymes. Others consider metre too jingly-jangly mechanical, making the poem sound artificial—as so often it is in one’s first attempts, especially if words must be mispronounced to fit a predetermined pattern. However, handled skilfully, it can serve as a subtle musical undertone swinging the words forward and supporting the mood of the poem.