Anybody who is trying to sound intelligent about formal poetry will probably drop the words “iambic pentameter.” And that truly is a fine meter (and, along with iambic tetrameter, one of the two meters that describe the vast majority of English formal poetry); but I personally have a preference for iambic heptameter myself. Having 7 beats in a line instead of 5 places the major rhymes a little farther apart, and provides space for internal rhymes as well. Furthermore bulkier words and phrases can be written in a heptameter line, which might not fit comfortably in a shorter line. Meanwhile the longer line seems to have no adverse effect on pacing–but listen to an example yourself, and see if you agree. This is The Glove and the Lions:
If you like heptameter poetry you can also check out some of my own work, such as the poems Rebekah or Complementary Beauties. Better yet, help support a new poet by purchasing Visions on your Kindle for only 99 cents!
Enjoy The Raven on YouTube.
If you like this poem, you may enjoy this discussion of its structure and artistry.
Leave a comment below about what you thought of this interpretation (and yes, I know what words I missed), or make a suggestion for what other poems you would like to hear performed.
Or check out some of my other videos if you like.