Notes On Two New Metres

I devised these in 1984; I say I devised, I canít imagine someone hasnít written verse in similar formats before, but I have made a fairly extensive search of the literature and have certainly not found Gamblemeter. The nearest I have found to Baronmeter is the Flanders & Swann song Misalliance in which lyricist Michael Flanders comes very close to Baronmetric stanzas in the first two verses. An expert opinion can be found at this link.

This is the regular iambic pentameter


which is used in Sonnets, etc, or with unrhymed verse such as Wilfred Owenís Strange Meeting.

Baronmeter _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Baronmeter _/_/_/_/_/_/ Rhyme scheme abab or the _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Baronmetric Couplet aabb /_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Baronmetric Pentameter _/_/_/_/_/_/ Rhyme scheme ababb _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/ And this is Gamblemeter, which is named after my award winning poem(!) The Gambler. _/_/_/ Rhyme scheme abbacc _/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Baronmeter is really suitable only for light verse; the other two can be used for serious verse. The Pentameter and especially the Baronmetric couplet has a slowing down effect which gives it a slightly melancholy flavour. Other rhyme schemes can be used, eg aabba.

The first poem I ever wrote in Baronmeter was City Kid, in which the first and third lines of each verse run to fifteen syllables - each ending in double syllabled word. If I recall, the second was Baronmetric Stanzas On One Of The Pitfalls Of Homosexuality, a rather frivolous ditty, as might be inferred from its title. The first poem in Gamblemeter was of course The Gambler, which I believe was written shortly before City Kid, but heck this was twenty-five years ago, and half the time I canít remember what I did yesterday.

Alexander Baron

June 15, 2009

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