Types of Meters in Poetry

Iambic
A foot which starts with an unaccented and ends with an accented (stressed) syllable. It is the most common meter in the English Language and naturally falls into everyday conversation.

Trochiaic
A foot (opposite of an iambic meter) that begins with an accented then followed by an unaccented syllable.

Anapestic
A foot which has two unaccented stllables followed by an accented syllable.

Dactylic
A foot including an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables.

Spondee
A foot consisting of two accented syllables

Pyrrhic
A foot including two unaccented syllables, generally used to vary rhythm.

Monometer
One Foot

Dimeter
Two Feet

Trimeter
Three Feet

Tetrameter
Four Feet

Pentameter
Five Feet

Hexameter
Six Feet

Heptameter
Seven Feet

Iambic
“to BE or NOT to BE” ~ Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Trochiaic
“DOUBLE, double, TOIL and TROUBLE.” ~ Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Anapestic
“I arise and unbuild it again.” ~ Shelley’s Cloud

Dactylic
Openly…(O-pen-ly)

Spondee
Heartbreak…(Heart-Break)

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