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Poetry Terms

Poetry Terms  Rhythm & Meter

Rhythm & Meter

What is Rhythm & Meter?

Rhythm is the pattern of stresses within a line of verse. All spoken word has a rhythm formed by stressed and unstressed Syllables. When you write words in a sentence you will notice patterns forming.

In poetry, pre-measured patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables are called meters.

Stressed syllables - long sounding

Unstressed syllables - short sounding

Meters are the pattern of feet within a sentence.

Feet are individual units of rhythm made up of patterns of syllables. A sentence is made up of one or more feet.

There are five rhythms in poetry:

To form a line of verse a poet can use repetitions of feet:

Monometer - 1 foot

Dimeter - 2 feet

Trimeter - 3 feet

Tetrameter - 4 feet

Pentameter - 5 feet

Hexameter - 6 feet

Rhythm is a natural effect within poetry. The meter of a sentence and which feet used to make that sentence are what give the poem its effect and flow.

Why don't you try writing a poem using rhyming couplets and enter it into one of our Poetry Competitions.

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