Stress Management for Poets
by Christopher Scribner
If words do not exactly rhyme
there at the end of every . . . uh . . . line,
and lilting, light alliteration
forces witâ€™s obliteration,
poetsâ€™ coffers will be less full,
and writing verse becomes more stressful.
When poets start to feel depressed,
how might that mood best be addressed?
A quick shift in meter is clearly whatâ€™s needed â€“
a palpable change, almost tactile;
But donâ€™t truncate your trochees or squeeze your spondees,
and, for heavenâ€™s sake, donâ€™t tear a dactyl!
Use some light tripping feet; make your stanzas replete
with the happy, care-free anapestic;
if that makes you feel worse,
then try writing free verse
and ignore the whole stressed-and-unstressed shtick.
(This poem was first published in LIGHT: A Quarterly of Light Verse, #25, 1999. Reprinted with author permission.)