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Poetry Part Three . A Unit on Types of Poetry and Literary Terms. METER. A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Meter occurs when the stressed and unstressed syllables of the words in a poem are arranged in a repeating pattern.

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poetry part three

Poetry Part Three

A Unit on Types of Poetry and Literary Terms

  • A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Meter occurs when the stressed and unstressed syllables of the words in a poem are arranged in a repeating pattern.
  • When poets write in meter, they count out the number of stressed (strong) syllables and unstressed (weak) syllables for each line. They they repeat the pattern throughout the poem.
meter cont
FOOT - unit of meter.

A foot can have two or three syllables.

Usually consists of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables.


The types of feet are determined by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables.


METER cont.
meter cont4
METER cont.
  • TYPES OF FEET (cont.)

Iambic - unstressed, stressed (ex: because)

Trochaic - stressed, unstressed (ex: breakfast)

Anapestic - unstressed, unstressed, stressed

(ex: as a rule)

Dactylic - stressed, unstressed, unstressed

(ex: in-between)

be the first to identify the meter
Be the First to Identify the Meter


Blood creeps

Low light





Happy Birthday

I saw you everyday and all the while

My head was hot




A violet by a mossy stone

On the faraway island of Sal-a-ma-Sond

Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.

Whose woods these are, I think I know

from “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

When the voices of children are heard on the green.

examples of meter
Examples of Meter

“You blocks! You stones! You worse than senseless things!”

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare


The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.

_____________________________ from Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat

Come live with me and be my love.

from Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”

He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone.

from Dr. Seuss’ Yertle the Turtle


meter cont8
METER cont.

Kinds of Metrical Lines

  • monometer = one foot on a line
  • dimeter = two feet on a line
  • trimeter = three feet on a line
  • tetrameter = four feet on a line
  • pentameter = five feet on a line
  • hexameter = six feet on a line
  • heptameter = seven feet on a line
  • octometer = eight feet on a line
be the first to identify the meter and feet
Be the First to Identify the Meter and Feet!

Picture yourself in a boat on a river with

tangerine tree-ees and marmalade skii-ii-es.

From: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles

Getting better all the time

To be or not to be.

Seasong, seasong, in my earWaves upon the shore so near

The murmuring pines and the forest primeval

Adapted from Longfellow’s Evangeline

Tell me not in mournful numbers

identify this poem
Identify this poem:

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town. --Emily Dickinson

iambic trimeter mainly
Iambic Trimeter (mainly)

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town. --Emily Dickinson

identify this poem12
Identify this poem:

Bats have webby wings that fold up;

Bats from ceilings hang down rolled up;

Bats when flying undismayed are;

Bats are careful; bats use radar; --Frank Jacobs, “The Bat”

identify this poem13
Identify this poem:

Just a small town girl

Livin’ in a lonely world

She took the midnight train

Going anywhere

Just a city boy

Born and raised in South Detroit

He took the midnight train going anywhere…

Don’t stop believin’

rhyme scheme and meter
Rhyme Scheme and Meter:

There was | a young la | -dy from York

Who had | a great fond | -ness for pork.

She ate | it all day

And ne | -ver could play

'Cause her hand | would not put | down her fork.

rhyme scheme and meter15
Rhyme Scheme and Meter:

 ’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. 

my papa s waltz by theodore roethke
“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breathCould make a small boy dizzy;But I hung on like death:Such waltzing was not easy.We romped until the pansSlid from the kitchen shelf;My mother's countenanceCould not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wristWas battered on one knuckle;At every step you missedMy right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my headWith a palm caked hard by dirt,Then waltzed me off to bedStill clinging to your shirt.

What is the meter?

How many feet does each line have?

The final answer? Put it all together.


That's my last Duchess painted on the wall

The first line of Donne’s “Last Duchess” has three kinds!

THAT'S my / LAST DUCH / ess PAINT / ed on / the WALL


metrical feet by samuel coleridge
“Metrical Feet” by Samuel Coleridge

/ u / u / u /

  • Trochee trips from long to short

u / u / u / u /

  • From long to long in solemn sort

/ / / / / / / / / u

  • Slow spondee stalks; strong foot yet ill able
  • Ever to run with the dactyl trisyllable.
  • Iambics march from short to long.
  • With a leap and a bound the swift anapests throng.
meter and feet worksheet
Meter and feet worksheet
  • Hey, that rhymes!
free verse poetry
Unlike metered poetry, free verse poetry does NOT have any repeating patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Does NOT have rhyme.

Free verse poetry is very conversational - sounds like someone talking with you.

A more modern type of poetry.


In free verse the writer makes his/her own rules. The writer decides how the poem should look, feel, and sound. Henry David Thoreau, a great philosopher, explained it this way, ". . . perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." It may take you a while to "hear your own drummer," but free verse can be a great way to "get things off your chest" and express what you really feel.

Here are some examples:

Winter Poem

Nikki Giovanni

once a snowflake fell

on my brow and i loved

it so much and i kissed

it and it was happy and called its cousins

and brothers and a web

of snow engulfed me then

i reached to love them all

and i squeezed them and they became

a spring rain and i stood perfectly

still and was a flower

blank verse poetry
Written in lines of iambic pentameter, but does NOT

use end rhyme.

from Julius Caesar

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

Words sound alike because they share the same ending vowel and consonant sounds.



Share the short “a” vowel sound

Share the combined “mp” consonant sound

end rhyme
  • A word at the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line
  • “Hector the Collector” by Shel Silverstein
  • Hector the Collector collected bits of string.
  • Collected dolls with broken heads
  • And rusty bells that would not ring.
internal rhyme
  • A word inside a line rhymes with another word on the same line.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.

  • “The Raven”
  • by Edgar Allan Poe
near rhyme
a.k.a imperfect rhyme, close rhyme

The words share EITHER the same vowel or consonant sound BUT NOT BOTH



Different vowel sounds (long “o” and “oo” sound)

Share the same consonant sound

rhyme scheme
  • A rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyme (usually end rhyme, but not always).
  • Use the letters of the alphabet to represent sounds to be able to visually “see” the pattern.

Roses are red aViolets are blue bSugar is sweet cAnd so are you. b

sample rhyme scheme
  • The Germ by Ogden Nash
  • A mighty creature is the germ,
  • Though smaller than the pachyderm.
  • His customary dwelling place
  • Is deep within the human race.
  • His childish pride he often pleases
  • By giving people strange diseases.
  • Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
  • You probably contain a germ.









rhyme scheme meter
Rhyme scheme? Meter?

Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Robert Frost

hector the collector by shel silverstein
“Hector the Collector” by Shel Silverstein

Hector the Collector

Collected bits of string,

Collected dolls with broken headsAnd rusty bells that would not ring. Pieces out of picture puzzles,Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,Twists of wires, worn-out tires, Paper bags and broken bricks.Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,Leaky boats that wouldn't floatAnd stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot.Butter knives that had no handles,Copper keys that fit no locks,Rings that were too small for fingers,Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.

Worn-out belts that had no buckles,'Lectric trains that had no tracks,Airplane models, broken bottles, Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.Hector the CollectorLoved these things with all his soul‹Loved them more than shining diamonds, Loved them more than glistenin' gold.Hector called to all the people,"Come and share my treasure trunk!"And all the silly sightless peopleCame and looked...and called it junk.

Check out the rhyme scheme of this poem!

casey at the bat p 299
“Casey At the Bat” p. 299
  • “The Pasture” p. 196
  • “A Time to Talk” p 196
  • See these examples in book for rhyme scheme and repetition.

A 14-line poem that begins with eight lines and is followed by six lines.

“How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach,

when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints.

I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

shakespearean sonnet
A fourteen line poem with a specific rhyme scheme.

The poem is written in three quatrains and ends with a couplet.

The rhyme scheme is

abab cdcd efef gg

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

my mistress eyes sonnet 130 by shakespeare
“My Mistress Eyes” Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;Coral is far more red than her lips' red;If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.I have seen roses damasked, red and white,But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

the man in the glass by major league pitcher herb score
“The Man in the Glass” by Major League Pitcher Herb Score

When you get what you want in your struggle for self, And the world makes you long for a day, Just go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what THAT man has to say. For if it is not your father or mother or wife Whose judgment upon you must pass.

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life Is the one staring back in the glass. Some people might think you are a straight shootin' chum and call you a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you're only a bum,

If you can't look him straight in the eye. He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, For he's with you dear up to the end. And you have passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years, and get pats on the back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartaches and tears If you have cheated the man in the glass.

Check out the rhyme scheme here!

What is the theme of the poem?

assignment take time to do both
Assignment: Take time to do both.
  • Write a poem with a rhyme scheme.
  • Write a Concrete Poem.

See examples of past students in folder

See examples on


concrete poetry
Concrete Poetry

dancing and playing and hopping






Iama veryspecialshape I havethree points andthree lines straight.Look through my wordsand you will see, the shapethat I am meant to be. I'm justnot words caught in a tangle. Lookclose to see a small triangle. My anglesadd to one hundred and eighty degrees, youlearn this at school with your abc's. Practice yourmaths and you will see, some other fine examples of me.