I wonder if poets write their verses in the correct meter at first or if they review it later after writing it just to express their thought. I'm not sure if it's possible for someone to be as skillfully to write at the correct meter at first; that's why I'm wondering.

2 Answers 2


As far as I have heard from poets who have been guests at the university, their approaches are very diverse. Many first write down their thoughts and then form a poem with rhythm and verse and - if they use it - meter. Others, however, write directly in rhythm, as it should be in the end. I think every poet must find his own way of working. Just like everyone who writes.

  • But still study the methods of those around them, and build their own with the best insights they got. Feb 15, 2022 at 15:27
  • Indeed. I wonder if some good poet has described their process already.
    – m26a
    Feb 15, 2022 at 16:10

Consider Robert Burns, my inspiration. Half his poems are actually lyrics where the words are spoken or sung with a perfect match to the rhythm of the tune. But before the production of music in manuscript form, his works just stated the name of the tune assuming people of that time knew the tune. Whether his idea came before the rhythm/meter or not, I don’t know. But his first song/poem for his girlfriend "Handsome Nell", was about her beauty - and the tune was the tune for her favourite country dance. Regarding meter, don’t forget that a silent beat or foot tap in a poem/song is part of its rhythm, but may not be regarded as part of the meter. Limericks are a good example of that. The 1st, 2nd and 5th lines have 4 bars of music if sung, but only 3 metrical feet if spoken. More obvious to musicians than poets.

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