Writing Iambic to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – When Writing Fan-Fiction or Poetry

When I was in the Professional Theatre Program, as part of our curriculum we studied Shakespeare. We performed scenes in class, learnt all about the Iambic Pentameter, and even performed on stage. My year performed “As You Like It”.

We studied iambic inside and out so that we could not only interpret our lines well to deliver a good performance, but so that we could also improvise in iambic if ever anything unexpected happened while performing or we missed our cue or forgot a line. And all those did indeed happen.

What Is Iambic Pentameter?

Wikipedia defines it as:

“a type of metric line used in traditional English poetry and verse drama. The term describes the rhythm, or meter, established by the words in that line; rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables called “feet”. “Iambic” refers to the type of foot used, here the iamb, which in English indicates an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (as in a-bove).”

Basically: unstressed-stressed-unstressed-stressed in an down-up-down-up way.

We would exaggerate lines this way to find the deeper meaning of how Shakespeare intended his words to be performed. A classic example is the “To Be” soliloquy.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

So one would then emphasise “is” in the second part.

So that’s iambic.

What does it have to do with Leonard Cohen, Fan-Fiction or Poetry?

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About binkyproductions

Binky Productions is a video production company that produces Films, Commercial Videos and Multimedia for artists. Binky Ink is the writing division for freelance and fiction writing, as well as screenplay formatting. Celinka Serre is also a YouTuber for Dragon Age gaming, and Green Healing for alternative and natural healing from abuse. View all posts by binkyproductions

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