Glossary

Blank verse – Poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter.

Catalectic – A catalectic line is a metrically incomplete line of verse, lacking a syllable at the end or ending with an incomplete foot.

Dactyl – A metric foot that has a long or stressed syllable followed by two short or unstressed syllables.

Dimeter – Poetic metre in which there are two metric feet to each line.

Form – The physical structure of a poem determined by the length of the lines, their rhyming patterns and repetitions.

Foot – A metric foot is a basic repeated sequence of metre composed of two or more stressed or unstressed syllables.

Iamb – A metric foot that has a short or unstressed syllable followed by a long or stressed syllable.

Metre – The rhythm of a piece of poetry, determined by the number and length of feet in a line.

Pentameter – Poetic metre in which there are five metric feet to each line. Most of classic English poetry follows this metre.

Sextilla – A six line stanza with eight syllable lines arranged in an aabccb or ababcc pattern. Originally used in Spanish poetry.

Sonnet – A 14 line poem typically divided into two stanzas, an 8 line octave followed by a 6 line sestet. The tone of the poem usually has an inflection point between the octave and sestet.

Tetrameter – Poetic metre in which there are four metric feet to each line.

Trimeter – Poetic metre in which there are three metric feet to each line.

Trochee – A metric foot that has a long or stressed syllable followed by a short or unstressed syllable.

Quatrain – A quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines.