Poetic Meters

Meter is the rhythmic structure of a poem. It refers to the number of syllables and the arrangement of stresses per line. Iambic pentameter is considered the most common form of meter in poetry, which was used extensively poetry from the likes of William Shakespeare.

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  • a
  • Accent
    In poetry, the word “accent” refers to the stressed syllable in a word. Metered lines of verse are made up of different groups of syllables. Read More
  • Accentual Verse
    Accentual verse focuses on the number of stressed syllables per line rather than the total number of syllables. Read More
  • Accentual-Syllabic Verse
    Accentual-syllabic verse is a type of accentual verse in which the writer uses the same number of syllables within each line. Read More
  • Acephalous
    An acephalous line is a form of a catalectic line of poetry. This type of line omits the first syllable of a metrical pattern. Read More
  • Alcaic Stanza
    An alcaic stanza is a type of lyrical meter thought to have been invented by Alcaeus, a writer from Mitylene. Read More
  • Alexandrine
    An alexandrine is a type of metrical line. It is most commonly refers to a line composed of twelve iambs. Read More
  • Alliterative Meter
    Alliterative meter is a type of verse that focuses on alliteration as a way of creating a metrical structure. Alliteration is used rather than accents or rhymes. Read More
  • Amphibrach
    An amphibrach is a form of meter. It occurs when the poet places on accented syllable, or stressed syllable, between two unstressed or unaccented syllables. Read More
  • Amphimacer
    An amphimacer is a metrical foot that consists of three syllables. It’s the opposite of an amphibrach. Read More
  • Anapest
    Anapestic Meter depends on three-syllable sections of verse, or words. An anapest is two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed. Read More
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  • Dactyl
    A dactyl is one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. It is the opposite of an anapest. Read More
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  • Iamb
    An iamb is a metrical unit. It occurs when two syllables are placed next to one another and the first is unstressed, or short, and the second is stressed, or long. Read More
  • Iambic Dimeter
    Iambic dimeter is a type of meter used in poetry. It occurs when the writer uses two iambs per line of verse. Read More
  • Iambic Pentameter
    Iambic pentameter is a very common way that lines of poetry are structured. Each line has five sets of two beats, the first is unstressed and the second is stressed. Read More
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  • Meter
    The meter is the pattern of beats in a line of poetry. It is a combination of the number of beats and arrangement of stresses. Read More
  • p
  • Poetic Foot
    In literature, a foot refers to a unit of meter in poetry. It is a grouping of stressed and/or unstressed syllables. Read More
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  • Rhythm
    Rhythm refers to the use of long and short stresses, or stressed and unstressed, within the writing. Read More
  • s
  • Spondee
    Spondee is an arrangement of two syllables in which both are stressed. Read More
  • Sprung Rhythm
    Sprung rhythm is a rhythmic pattern used in poetry that mimics natural speech.  Read More
  • t
  • Trochee
    Trochees are the exact opposite of an iamb, meaning that the first syllable is stressed and the second is unstressed. Read More
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