“That stepping rhythm:” deca-syllables
Of which a gracious poetess once wrote,
That navigate so flawlessly along.
This is iambic pentameter. This is the heart and soul of the sonnet. We can sometimes flip this rhythm the other way and then flip back, but essentially you have 10 syllables divided into 5 groups of 2 that may be called “feet” and are accented on the second syllable, as in the triadic verse above.
We are verging now on the kind of language in which Shakespeare wrote all his plays. Still this is modern language, so perhaps, since we well know the meaning of the words by now, we should change them to language similar to Shakespeare’s in the next step.
In any case, have a look at the blank verse in the following example and test the sound of it. See if you can hear the stepping sound which our inimitable Mrs. King once pointed out to me.