Spondee Meter

Spondee is an arrangement of two syllables  in which both are stressed.

With spondaic feet, as well as dactylic or anapaestic, single words take their forms, rather than whole lines of text. Examples of words in which both syllables are stressed include “sunset,” “handshake” and “rainstorm.” Because the spondee is an irregular metrical foot, a poet might end a line of iambic pentameter, or any other type of meter, with a spondaic foot. They are not used to write entire lines.

It looks like this when the scansion is written out:

Spondee: //

The beginning of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Break, Break, Break’ is a great example. The second line reads: “On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!” The last two words, “O Sea!” Are a perfect example of how a spondee is used within a different pattern of meter, to place emphasis on two connecting syllables. In this case, and in many others, it is used to express increased emotion.

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Spondee, Spondaic, Spondaic Meter
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