Missing the Eight Count

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"Posody describes the study of poetic sounds and rhythms" (182).  

I love to dance.  Whether it's in Pittsburgh on Fridays or Saturdays with friends, dancing with my family at a wedding reception, or jumping around my apt to loud music -- I've always been the first on the dance floor.  I never took classes and I don't know any fancy moves, but I can feel the beat when I'm dancing and I never have to think about whether my body is in time with the rhythm or not.  It's just fun, and after my one and only pageant -- I think I'm going to keep it that way.  

My senior year I competed in Pennsylvania's Outstanding Young Woman contest and one of our judged requirements was a dance routine.  I went in thinking it would be fun and relatively easy, and then I noticed that every other girl there was either a professional dancer or a cheerleader.  Also, it wasn't just one song for the routine, we needed to learn six songs in 5 days.  I had a crash course in 8 counts, and saches.  Needless to say, I still can't count a decent 8 count and I can't remember a single thing that we learned.  The dance routine didn't go so well, but afterwords we all had a big end of the pageant dance.  I went out there and just did what I normally do and the other girls were shocked.  They all honestly thought that I didn't have any rhythm at all.  

I feel the same way about poetry.  I've been writing poems all my life.  Last semester one was published in Eye Contact, but I couldn't tell you the prosody of it.  For the life of me, I don't think I'll ever hear the stress and unstress of iambic pentameter.  I've been to several creative writing camps (like band camp, only better) and I've always written, but I don't feel like I'll ever get the specifics of poetry.  I understand the guts of it -- emotions, tone, pace, word choice, theme, and purpose, but when it comes to chapter 13, my eyes glaze over a bit.  I try to get it.  Every time I get a chance to study the information over again I do, but I just can't seem to put the steps in order and hear the 8 count.  

And just for the record, I never studied music and I never played an instrument.  I'm convinced the absence of music education was detrimental to my ear.  I think I'm going to make my kids  play the piano when they're little so they get it when they're young.  

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