Short meter, or short metre (sometimes called short measure), is a verse form often used in English-languge poetry and song lyrics.


Short meter consists of four-line stanzas, or quatrains, of iambic trimeter, with an cross rhyme (a-b-a-b) rhyme scheme.

Short meter is similar to long meter, which consists of similar quatrains of iambic tetrameter; and to Common meter, which consists of quatrains of two lines each of alternating iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.


The 1948 poem "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke uses short meter:

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

William Blake's "Song ('I Love the Jocund Dance')" (1783) uses a loose short meter that sometimes incorporates additional weak syllables as anapestic feet:

I love the jocund dance,
The softly breathing song,
Where innocent eyes do glance,
And where lisps the maiden's tongue.

I love the laughing gale,
I love the echoing hill,
Where mirth does never fail,
And the jolly swain laughs his fill.

See also Edit

External linksEdit

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

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