Types of Meter

To determine the meter for your poem, do a scansion (according to the methods explained at the beginning of "Meter Primer"). In other words, read each line of your poem and mark each iamb, trochee, anapest, dactyl, pyrrhic or spondee. Count them and then designate the feet per line. Combine the predominant sound with the feet per line, and you will have identified the meter.

To practice, scan this excerpt of an Emerson poem:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world.

(Note: Answer provided in the Level One notebook exercise at the end of this chapter.)

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