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Rhythm, Feet and Meter in Poetry

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by

Mr Gibb

on 5 March 2014

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Transcript of Rhythm, Feet and Meter in Poetry

Rhythm, Feet and Meter in Poetry
Rhythm and Meter
Foot
A foot is a combination of
stressed
and
unstressed
syllables in a line of poetry. There are many different combinations, but some are more popular than others.
Here are the most common feet, the rhythms they represent, and an example of that rhythm. The words which are CAPITALISED and in
bold
are the stressed syllable.

Iamb: duh-
DUH
, as in
coll
apse

Trochee:
DUH
-duh, as in
pi
zza

Anapest: duh-duh-
DUH
, as in
but of
course
!

Dactyl:
DUH
-duh-duh, as in
ho
nestly

Spondee:
DUH-DUH
, as in

Crash! Bang!
Meter
This is the number of feet that is in a line of poetry. A line of poetry can have any number of feet, and can have more than one type of foot. There are some meters that are used more often than others.
We have learned..
Rhythm
- made up of syllables and therefore feet.
Foot
- contains at least two syllables (any combination of stressed or unstressed, usually up to three syllables).
Meter
- the number of feet in a line of poetry.
Remember:
A
foot
is a combination of
stressed
and
unstressed syllables
in a line of poetry (unless it is a
spondee
, which is
two stressed
syllables). There are many different combinations, but some are more popular than others. We mark an
unstressed
(or light) syllable with an
x
and a
stressed
syllable (or heavy) is marked with a / symbol.

Iamb
: A foot with two syllables, one that is not stressed and one that is, in that order.
Trochee
: A foot with two syllables, this time with one that is stressed and one that is not.
Spondee
: A foot with two syllables, both of which are stressed.
Anapest
: A foot with three syllables, two stressed syllables followed by one unstressed syllable
Dactyl
: A foot with three syllables, one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables

POETRY’S RHYTHM
Rhythm gives a poem its sound, and there are many different ways that rhythm is used, and lots of elements in poetry that are related to rhythm.

Stress / Accent
A line of poetry is filled with syllables. When a syllable is given emphasis, it is called a stressed syllable. Stress is the emphasis given to the syllable.

Example: “water” has two syllables: wa – ter

The first syllable (“
wa
”) is the stressed syllable – it is pronounced with more emphasis than the second syllable (“ter”), which is the unstressed syllable.
Monometer
: a line with
1
foot
Dimeter
: A line with
2
feet
Trimeter
: A line with
3
feet
Tetrameter
: A line with
4
feet
Pentameter
: A line with
5
feet
Hexameter
: A line with
6
feet
Heptameter
: A line with
7
feet
Octameter
: a line with
8
feet
Types of Feet
Meter
more examples
Note that although the word 'temperate' has three syllables, when we count the meter we are looking for patterns in syllables (for example unstressed (
x
) stressed (
/
), which is an iamb). This therefore means this poem is written in
iambic pentameter
.
Full transcript