English For Poets 008 - Metric Feet

English For Poets




Disyllables (2 syllables)


  • Iamb. This type of metric foot consists of two syllables. The first will be unstressed and the second will be stressed. This is the structure of 
  • iamb: _ ^
  • Pyrrhus: The pyrrhic metrical foot is composed by two syllables that are not stressed. Its structure is: _ _
  • Trochee or choreus: This disyllable metric foot has the first syllable stressed and the second unstressed: ^ _
  • Spondee: The last of the disyllabic metric foot consists of two stressed syllables: ^ ^


Trisyllables (3 syllables)


  • Tribrach: Words or units consisting of three syllables that are not stressed. Its structure is: _ _ _
  • Dactyl: Type of metric foot that has the first syllable stressed and the two following unstressed: ^_ _
  • Amphibrach: This metric food consists of the first and last syllable unstressed and the second and middle syllable stressed: _ ^_
  • Anapest: Also known as antidactylus, is is the contrary of the dactyl metric foot, as it is only the last syllable that is stressed: _ _^
  • Bacchius: The bacchius has the last two syllables stressed and the first unstressed: _ ^^
  • Cretic: Also known as amphimacer, this has the first and last stressed syllables: ^ _ ^
  • Antibacchuius: This metric foot has the first two syllables stressed, whereas the last is unstressed: ^ ^ _
  • Molossus: In this metric foot, all of the syllables are stressed: ^^^ 
Tetrasyllables (4 syllables)


  • Tetrabrach: Also known as proceleusmatic, this metric foot has none of its syllables stressed: _ _ _ _
  • Primus paeon: As its Latin name suggests, primus paeon has the first syllable out of four stressed: ^_ _ _
  • Secundus paeon: This type of metric foot only stressed the second syllable, the rest are unstressed: _ ^ _ _
  • Tetrius paeon: In this case, the third syllable is the only stressed syllable: _ _ ^_
  • Quartus paeon: Yes, you've guessed it, only the last syllable out of the four is stressed: _ _ _ ^
  • Major ionic: Also known as double iamb, the two firs syllables are stressed whereas the last two are unstressed: ^^_ _
  • Minor ionic: This is the contrary of the above, as it is the last two syllables that are stressed: _ _ ^^
  • Ditrochee: In this case, alternate syllables are stressed, the first and third syllables to be more precise: ^_ ^_
  • Diiamb: This metric foot copies the iamb structure, with the second and fourth syllables stressed: _^_^
  • Choriamb: In this case, the first and last syllables are stressed, whereas the second and third aren't: ^_ _^
  • Antispast: This type of metric foot consists of the two middle syllables stressed, whereas the first and last are unstressed: _^^_
  • First epitrite: The three last syllables are stressed, and the only syllable that is unstressed is the first: _^^^
  • Second epitrite: The only syllable that is unstressed is the second in this metric meter: ^_ ^^
  • Third epitrite: As the name suggests, the third syllable is the only that is unstressed: ^^_^
  • Fourth epitrite: In this metic foot, the last and fourth syllable is the one that is unstressed: ^^^_
  • Dispondee: Last but not least, the dispondee has all of its four syllables stressed: ^^^^Metric feet examples


I borrowed these from the internet because many of them I had never seen before today. Why education in this country fails: they only give you a sampling instead of the whole pie.






Note: I am not the source for this material. Found and lifted from the internet under: Names of Feet In Poetic Meter.




View allets's Full Portfolio
Dove's picture

Thanks for the info!

Thanks for the info! Certainly 

heard of iampic meter! 

As in sonnets! 


The rest would be a challenge 


to incorporate! 

probably put words in

categories then form

the metered sentences





allets's picture

It Is A Tool to Analyze Meter

To measure rhythm patterns used by a writer. Predominant feet or the rise and fall of the voice when read out loud. It counts in highly metered verse like sonnets and helps writer stay on track (often they deviate though). I did not know there were so many of them. Iambs and dactyls, spondees et al are taught, never saw a lot of the four syllable tools. :D slc