Ah, the Pokemon theme song. A childhood ear worm that threatens to haunt your conscious thoughts every time you hear it. But dominating our brains was not enough tribute for this audible beast. Now it must also possess the pages of classic poetry.
This curse comes to us from Twitter user Jeeyonshim, who discovered that both Emily Dickinson’s poetry and the Pokemon Theme Song use the common meter.
“A friend on Facebook posted about how Emily Dickinson used the common meter and so her poems can all be sung to the tune of the Pokemon theme song and,” they said on Twitter.
The proceeded to post two stanzas from Emily Dickinson’s Because I could not stop for Death. And by god, they’re right. It can be read in perfect time to the Pokemon Theme Song.
What is a common meter?
A meter is a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in lyrics or poetry. The stress patterns are grouped in what are called ‘feet’ and tend to consist of two or three syllables.
A two-syllable metrical pattern is called an iamb, which is where an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable. And this is the pattern that the Pokemon theme song and Emily Dickinson’s poetry follows.
What makes both works a ‘common meter’, also known as a ballad meter, is the alternation between lines of eight syllables and lines of six syllables.
And that’s close to what we have there. However, the third line only has 7 syllables due to the third word being elongated in the song.
I wanna be the very best — 8 syllables
Like no one ever was – 6 syllables
To catch them is my real test – 7 syllables
To train them is my cause — 6 syllables
Now, let’s ruin (enhance?) some poetry, shall we?
A friend on Facebook posted about how Emily Dickinson used the common meter and so her poems can all be sung to the tune of the Pokemon theme song and — pic.twitter.com/4X4c0rhpOZ— Jeeyon Shim, dirt goblin ???? (@jeeyonshim) August 2, 2020
Most of Dickinson’s poetry can be given the same treatment. Give it a try with I heard a Fly buzz – when I died.
Here’s the Pokemon Theme Song if you want to blast it while reading, just to get the full effect. Now it’s your turn to find some common meter poetry and songs to throw some Pokemon at.