meter · Poetry · rhyme · rhythm · stress · Verbs · Writing

Anonymous poet No.2

The Shadow Thief

One day I saw a homeless man,

a beggar on a corner street.

His jacket torn, his trousers worn,

his hat upturned down at his feet.




‘Some silvers, please, just a few

will feed me till tomorrow noon.’

He rubbed his tummy, grin all gummy,

in hope to hear a chink or two.




This story in verse is much longer than two verses so I’m just going to edit the first two.

When you read this you will hear immediately that not only does it rhyme but it also has a very strong metrical component so this will be more of a deconstruction than an edit so that you can see why it works.


One day I saw a home less man
a begg ar on a


ner street
His jack et torn his trou sers worn
his hat up turned down at his feet
his hat up turned be side his feet


So the meter is iambic – an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

daDA daDA daDA daDA

And the rhyme pattern is ABCB and there is an internal rhyme in line 3.

I have made a suggestion for line 4 as the original runs two stressed syllables together. In order to keep with the meter, the reader will be expected to place a stress on the word ‘at’. The author will do this instinctively but a new reader may not.


Some sil vers please , just a few
Some sil vers please but just a few
will feed me till tom orr ow noon
He rubbed his tumm y grin all gumm y
in hope to hear a chink or two
hop ing for a chink or two
listen ing for a chink or two


Meter is still iambic but the rhyming pattern has changed to ABCA and there is an internal rhyme in line 3 as before.

I’ve added the word ‘but’ to the first line as readers may initially pause at the comma but rush over the words ‘just a few’ to be read as ‘justa few’ leaving the line short. When you add the word ‘but’ ‘just’ becomes stressed.

The suggestion I’ve made for line 4 is a tiny one but I think it makes the rhythm a little smoother. The extra unstressed syllable at the end of line 3 will bump into the unstressed syllable beginning line four. New readers will be expecting a stressed syllable to follow the unstressed ‘y’ and may trip up here.

As I said, this is a much longer poem and the metrical pattern isn’t consistent. I would need a lot more time to edit properly.

Thank you Anonymous poet No. 2  I hope I’ve been of some help and please expect your e-book very soon.

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