FANDOM


About Poetry
Poetry • Outline • Explication

Theme • Plot • Style
Character • Setting • Voice
Writer • Writer's block

Poetic diction

Imagery • Figures of speech
Metaphor • Simile
Homeric simile
Personification • Pathetic fallacy
Synecdoche  • Metonymy
Conceit • Extended metaphor
Allegory • Motif • Symbol
Pun • Double entendre
Ambiguity • Idiom

Sound

Alliteration • Assonance
Consonance • Rhyme
Repetition • Refrain
Onomatopoeia

Prosody

Line • Enjambment • Caesura
Foot • Meter • Verse • Stanza

Verse forms

Epic • Narrative • Lyric • Ode
Dramatic monologue • Ballad
Blank verse • Heroic couplets
Sestina • Sonnet • Villanelle
List of poetic forms

Modern poetry

Free verse • Prose poetry
Haiku in English • Tanka

Much, much more ...

Collaborative poetry
Glossary of poetry terms
How to - topics

Edit

This box: view · talk · edit

A Foot is the unit of meter in verse in most Western traditions of poetry (including English accentual-syllabic verse and the quantitative meter of ancient Greek and Latin poetry).

DefinitionEdit

Foot, n. [ pl. Feet (f***emacr]t). [OE. fot, foot, pl. fet, feet. AS. ft, pl.f***emacr]t; akin to D. voet, OHG. fuoz, G. fuss, Icel. f]

9. A combination of syllables comprising a metrical element of a verse , the syllables being formerly distinguished by their quantity or length, but in modern poetry by the accent .[1]

The English word "foot" is a translation of the Latin term pes, plural pedes; the equivalent term in Greek, sometimes used in English as well, is metron, plural metra, which means "measure." The foot might be compared to a measure in musical notation. The foot is a purely metrical unit; there is no inherent relation to a word or phrase as a unit of meaning or syntax, though the interplay between syntax and meter is a function of the individual poet's skill and artistry.

The poetic feet in EnglishEdit

Metrical feet
Disyllables
˘ ˘ pyrrhus, dibrach
˘ ¯ iamb
¯ ˘ trochee, choree
¯ ¯ spondee
Trisyllables
˘ ˘ ˘ tribrach
¯ ˘ ˘ dactyl
˘ ¯ ˘ amphibrach
˘ ˘ ¯ anapest, antidactylus
˘ ¯ ¯ bacchius
¯ ¯ ˘ antibacchius
¯ ˘ ¯ cretic, amphimacer
¯ ¯ ¯ molossus
Number of feet per line
one Monometer
two Dimeter
three Trimeter
four Tetrameter
five Pentameter
six Hexameter
seven Heptameter
eight Octameter
See main article for tetrasyllables.
v · d · e

The foot is composed of syllables, the number of which is limited, to a few variations, by the sound pattern the foot represents. In poetry written in the English language, a foot is a combination of two or three accented (stressed) and/or unaccented (unstressed) syllables. The following are the four most common feet found in English poetry:

  • Iambic (the noun is "iamb"): an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, a pattern which comes closest to approximating the natural rhythm of speech. Note line 23 from Shelley's "Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples":
And WALKED / with IN/ward GLOR/y CROWNED.
  • Trochaic (the noun is "trochee"): a stressed followed by an unstressed syllable, as in the first line of Blake's "Introduction" to Songs of Innocence:
PIPing / DOWN the / VALleys / WILD
  • Anapestic (the noun is "anapest"): two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable, as in "A Visit from St. Nicholas:
'Twas the NIGHT / before CHRIST/mas and ALL / through the HOUSE
    1. Dactylic (the noun is "dactyl"): a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables, as in Thomas Hardy's "The Voice":
WOman much / MISSED how you / CALL to me / CALL to me

Tetrasyllabic (four-syllable) feet do not play much of a role in English prosody, but two need to be noted. One is the choriamb, consisting of a trochee followed by an iamb (DUM-da-da-DUM). The other is the double iamb, equivalent to a pyrrhus followed by a spondee (da-da-DUM-DUM). Either can commonly be substituted for two iambic feet.

Meter also refers to the number of feet in a line:

For example, iambic pentameter (the most popular meter in English poetry) is verse (lines) of five iambic feet.

Any number above six feet (hexameter) is heard as a combination of shorter lines; for example, heptameter (seven feet in a line) is aurally indistinguishable from successive lines of tetrameter and trimeter (4-3).

Tetrasyllables
˘ ˘ ˘ ˘tetrabrach, proceleusmatic
¯ ˘ ˘ ˘primus paeon
˘ ¯ ˘ ˘secundus paeon
˘ ˘ ¯ ˘tertius paeon
˘ ˘ ˘ ¯quartus paeon
¯ ¯ ˘ ˘major ionic, double trochee
˘ ˘ ¯ ¯minor ionic, double iamb
¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ditrochee
˘ ¯ ˘ ¯diiamb
¯ ˘ ˘ ¯choriamb
˘ ¯ ¯ ˘antispast
˘ ¯ ¯ ¯first epitrite
¯ ˘ ¯ ¯second epitrite
¯ ¯ ˘ ¯third epitrite
¯ ¯ ¯ ˘fourth epitrite
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯dispondee

The poetic feet in classical meterEdit

Below are listed the names given to the poetic feet by classical metrics. The feet are classified first by the number of syllables in the foot (disyllables have two, trisyllables three, and tetrasyllables four) and secondarily by the pattern of vowel lengths (in classical languages) or syllable stresses (in English poetry) which they comprise. The following lists describe the feet in terms of vowel length (as in classical languages). Translated into syllable stresses (as in English poetry), 'long' becomes 'stressed' ('accented'), and 'short' becomes 'unstressed' ('unaccented'). For example, an iamb, which is short-long in classical meter, becomes unstressed-stressed, as in the English word "betray."

DisyllablesEdit

¯ = long syllable, ˘ = short syllable (macron and breve notation)

˘ ˘pyrrhus, dibrach
˘ ¯iamb
¯ ˘trochee, choree (or choreus)
¯ ¯spondee

TrisyllablesEdit

˘ ˘ ˘tribrach
¯ ˘ ˘dactyl
˘ ¯ ˘amphibrach
˘ ˘ ¯anapest, antidactylus
˘ ¯ ¯bacchius
¯ ¯ ˘antibacchius
¯ ˘ ¯cretic, amphimacer
¯ ¯ ¯molossus

TetrasyllablesEdit

˘ ˘ ˘ ˘tetrabrach, proceleusmatic
¯ ˘ ˘ ˘primus paeon
˘ ¯ ˘ ˘secundus paeon
˘ ˘ ¯ ˘tertius paeon
˘ ˘ ˘ ¯quartus paeon
¯ ¯ ˘ ˘major ionic, double trochee
˘ ˘ ¯ ¯minor ionic, double iamb
¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ditrochee
˘ ¯ ˘ ¯diiamb
¯ ˘ ˘ ¯choriamb
˘ ¯ ¯ ˘antispast
˘ ¯ ¯ ¯first epitrite
¯ ˘ ¯ ¯second epitrite
¯ ¯ ˘ ¯third epitrite
¯ ¯ ¯ ˘fourth epitrite
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯dispondee

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Foot ," Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913, 1913.MShaffer.com, Web, July 5, 2011.

External linksEdit

Template:Suprasegmentals

This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Foot (poetry).
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.