Trochaic Meter

Trochees are the exact opposite of iambic pentameter, meaning that the first syllable is stressed and the second is unstressed.

It looks like this when the scansion is written out:

Trochee: / U

It can be combined, just as the iamb can, with any number of syllables. Let’s take a look at the first line from ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe which is almost entirely written in trochaic tetrameter. This means that each line contains four, rather than five, sets of beats. The first, as stated above, is going to be stressed and the second unstressed.

    /   U     /  U   /  U   /  U     /   U  /  U      / U  /   U     

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

There are three other common ways in which syllables can be arranged. They can be spondaic, dactylic, or anapestic. In contrast to the last two arrangements of syllables, the two latter forms depend on the syllables coming in sets of threes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Trochee, Trochaic
« Back to Glossary Index
Scroll Up