.

A Note on Iambic Barktameter

I have an Australian Shepard named Sunny who loves poetry. I didn’t believe it at first, but she proved it to me. She showed me her copy of Poetry magazine and said, “Look how dog-eared it is.” Then she told me that her favorite poets are Percy Biscuit Shelley and Ezra Hound. And she listed her favorite poems. There’s one by Christopher Marlowe called “The Passionate Australian Shepherd to His Love.” Another is by John Keats. It’s called “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Bark.” And then there’s the classic poem by Allen Ginsberg. You know the one. And Sunny’s favorite poem of all time is by Emily Dickinson. The title is “Dinner is the thing with feathers.” Now I will read a poem that Sunny wrote. It’s called “Iambic Barktameter.”

.

Iambic Barktameter

I’m trained in poetics.
I’m schooled in aesthetics.
I’m savvy with tropes and with verses.

And what could be sweeter
than a dog who knows meter
and one who, each morning, rehearses!

Iambics are a breeze. It’s hard to miss the mark.
Bark. BARK. Bark. BARK. Bark. BARK.
Bark. BARK. Bark. BARK. Bark. BARK.

Dactyls are easy. A walk in the park.
BARK. Bark. Bark.
BARK. Bark. Bark.
BARK. Bark. Bark.
BARK.

A succession of anapests gives me a spark.
Bark. Bark. BARK.
Bark. Bark. BARK.
Bark. Bark. BARK.
Bark. Bark. BARK.

See my trochees gleam and sparkle.
Barkle.
Barkle.
Barkle.
Barkle.

And a foot I think of fondly
has two stresses. It’s the spondee.
BARK.
BARK.

I know my poems will take flight.
Success, I sense, is near.
I’m ready to embark upon
a stunning, new career.

My poems are not doggerel.
I’m more than just a rhymester.
They won’t be selling only at
the corner five-and-dime store.

My poetry will make things happen.
It will surely sell.
My narratives must be unleashed.
I have a tale to tell.

.

.

Mark F. Stone grew up near Seattle. After graduating from Brandeis University and Stanford Law School, he worked as an attorney for the United States Air Force for 33 years. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel. He began writing poems in 2005, as a way to woo his bride-to-be into wedlock. His poems have been published by the Society of Classical Poets, Light, and the Ohio Poetry Association.  Some of his poems and photographs can be found at: markfstone.substack.com.  He lives in Ohio.


NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.


CODEC Stories:

30 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    That is a wonderful poem with my sense of humor incorporated. Using “doggerel” and “tale” that when spoken is also “tail,” as a double entendre is inspired. I really enjoyed your poem.

    Reply
  2. Allegra Silberstein

    Your Australian Shepherd is a miracal…so is your delightful poem. Thank you…Allegra

    Reply
  3. C.B Anderson

    I think the funniest phrase in this funniest of poems is “embark upon.” The best rhyme: rhymster/dime store. I’ll bet most dogs can, in some sense, learn to count syllables.

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      C.B., I am pleased that you enjoyed the humor. Thank you for commenting. Mark

      Reply
      • Mark F. Stone

        Julian, I’m glad you enjoyed that rhyme. Thank you for dropping by. Mark

  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    I laughed out loud all the way through! Thanks for the great entertainment, Mark. I’m so glad poets at SCP have a sense of humor!

    Reply
  5. Tonia Smith-Kalouria

    Dear fellow Buckeye, Mark,
    What good fun! I am dog-tired from laughing. (And just what we all need nowadays.)

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      Tonia, As we say here in Ohio: O-H-I-O! I am pleased that the poem made you laugh. Mark

      Reply
  6. Paul Freeman

    A Haiku, perhaps, Mark.

    Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark,
    bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark,
    bark, bark, bark, bark, bark.

    Thanks for the read.

    Reply
  7. jd

    Enjoyed, Mark. The introduction rivals the poem. And your website is full of information for those still in pursuit of fame (sort of). Thank you. Nice photographs too.

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      JD, I’m glad you enjoyed the introduction. It was a lot of fun to put together. And I’ll be adding more poems, photos, and poetry resources to the website. Thank you for commenting. Mark

      Reply
  8. Yael

    Doggone, this is a hoot of a howling good poem, thank you. Really enjoyed it. Now I’m going to read it out loud to my farm dog, for his refinement and continuing education.

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      Yael, I am pleased that my Australian Shepherd can help educate your hard-working farm dog! Thank you for commenting. Mark

      Reply
  9. James Sale

    Quite, quite brilliant work – very funny indeed, and it almost ought to be compulsory teaching in secondary schools: so many poetical activities could derive from this, ending perhaps with the challenge to write the Catameter or – choose your favourite title – any noisy animals’ sound effect! Well done Mark – your work goes from strength to strength. So proud of performing with you in Bryant Park in 2019 – that truly was a hoot!

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      James, I am flattered by and appreciative of your praise. Using the poem as a springboard for other poetic activities is a wonderful idea. I greatly enjoyed reading poems with you in the public park in New York City in 2019. And I very much look forward to the next time we can work together. Mark

      Reply
  10. Geoffrey S.

    The middle barking part is especially good. The meter curiously corresponds to the wants of many a barking dog. Those that I’ve known anyway.

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      Geoffrey, Sunny’s barking is very rhythmic… especially when the mailman drives by! Thank you for commenting on the poem. Mark

      Reply
  11. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Mark, I am blown away by Sunny’s penchant for poetry and meter… what a literary pet you have! Not only is this unique poem highly entertaining, it’s also educational… whenever my meter breaks free from its leash, I shall haul myself over here for some Iambic Barktameter training… essential for top dogs! Mark – you have a furry genius on your hands. I love this poem. Thank you for making this poet’s endeavors easier!

    Reply
    • Mark F. Stone

      Susan, Sunny is extremely proud that she can be of assistance to you. She asked me to tell you she gives your poetry five barks out of five! Mark

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.