Poetic Meter

Meter
A recurring pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in lines of a set length.

Rhythm
Adherence and deviation from standard meter. A poem’s musicality.

Foot
Usually made up of two syllables and sometimes three.

Iamb (Iambic)
A foot made up of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

Trochee (Trochaic)
A foot made up of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable.

Spondee (Spondaic)
A foot made up of two stressed syllables.

Anapest (Anapestic)
A foot made up of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable.

Dactyl (Dactylic)
A foot made up of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables.

Pyrrhic
A foot made up of two unstressed syllables.

Monometer
One foot

Dimeter
Two feet

Trimeter
Three feet

Tetrameter
Four feet

Pentameter
Five feet

Hexameter
Six feet

Heptameter
Seven feet

Octameter
Eight feet

Catalexis (catalectic)
An incomplete foot at the end of a line.

Acatalexis (acatalectic)
A complete foot at the end of a line.

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