Metrical feet
˘ ˘ pyrrhus, dibrach
˘ ¯ iamb
¯ ˘ trochee, choree
¯ ¯ spondee
˘ ˘ ˘ 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

Pentameter, in poetry, means a line or lines of verse consisting of five metrical feet.

Iambic pentameterEdit

Main article: Iambic pentameter

Lines made up of five iambs or iambic feet are called iambic pentameter. In the English language, they contain ten syllables and five stresses. Iambic pentameter is the basis for much of English-language poetry.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Though art more lovely and more temperate.

Scanned (CAPITALS indicate stressed syllable:)

Shall I / comPARE / thee TO / a SUM/mer's DAY?
Thou ART / more LOVE/ly AND / more TEM/perATE.


A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.


A LIT/tle LEARN/ing IS / a DAN/gerous THING;
Drink DEEP, / or TASTE / not THE / PieRI/an SPRING:
There SHAL/low DRAUGHTS / inTOX/iCATE / the BRAIN,
And DRIN/king LARGE/ly sob/ers US / aGAIN.

Dactylic pentameterEdit

Main article: Dactylic pentameter

Pentameter may also refer to the dactylic pentameter of antiquity.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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

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