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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

Octameter, in poetry, means a line or lines of verse consisting of eight metrical feet.

Iambic octameterEdit

Rhyming iambic octameter couplets are sonically indistinguishable from long meter (iambic tetrameter), and are usually written that way instead. Iambic heptameter is consequently rare in English language verse. John Masefield used loose iambic heptameter couplets to construct memorable long lines.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
(John Masefield, "Sea-Fever")

(Scanned)

I MUST / go DOWN / to the SEA / aGAIN // to the LONE/ly SEA / and the SKY And ALL/ I ASK / is A / tall SHIP / and a STAR / to STEER / her BY

Trochaic octameterEdit

Main article: Trochaic octameter
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
(Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven")

Dactylic octameterEdit

Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell, and the splendour of winter had passed out of sight,
The ways of the woodlands were fairer and stranger than dreams that fulfil us in sleep with delight;
The breath of the mouths of the winds had hardened on tree-tops and branches that glittered and swayed
Such wonders and glories of blossomlike snow or of frost that outlightens all flowers till it fade
(A.C. Swinburne, "March: An Ode")

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.

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