A poetic foot is a basic unit of measure in poetry, with repeated sequence of meter, containing 2 or 3 stressed or unstressed syllables.  Meter is the rhythm of a poem.

These are the different types of meters:

 

Primary 

.Iamb (Iambic)

Unstressed + Stressed

2 Syllables

Primary

.Trochee (Trochaic)

Stressed + Unstressed

2 Syllables

Primary

.Anapest (Anapestic)

Unstressed + Unstressed + Stressed

3 Syllables

Primary

.Dactyl (Dactylic)

Stressed + Unstressed + Unstressed

3 Syllables

Supplement

.Dibrach (Pyrrhic)

Unstressed + Unstressed

2 Syllables

Supplement

.Spondee (Spondaic)

Stressed + Stressed

2 Syllables

 

The types of line lengths are as follows (the number of feet per line):

  1. Monometer:  One Foot
  2. Dimeter:  Two Feet
  3. Trimeter:  Three Feet
  4. Tetrameter:  Four Feet
  5. Pentameter:  Five Feet
  6. Hexameter:  Six Feet
  7. Heptameter:  Seven Feet
  8. Octameter:  Eight Feet

 

For example:

Iambic Pentameter (used in Shakespearean Sonnets):

 

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116: 

   -       !        -      !       -      !         -        !       -         ! 

Let/ me/ not/ to/ the/ mar/riage/ of/ true/ minds  < 5 feet>

** Note:

-  Unstressed

!   Stressed

 

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