Poetry Glossary: Different Types of Metre Explaineed

 “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” -George Orwell

Throughout the years, many different types of poetry have been created and many still are emerging, therefore meaning there are many different types of metre in poetry;  although it is one of the most important techniques in writing, it is a not often talked about aspect. In this post I will attempt to explain metre, and it’s different forms in poetry.

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What is Metre?

Metre (also known as  foot), studied under the field of prosody, is used to measure the rhythm in poetry. Metre is made up of a number of stressed and unstressed syllables, often ranging from one to four – it can vary on the type of metre used. For example:

I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.” – Dr. Seuss

In this line of poem by Dr. Seuss, we may observe that the stress is on certain syllables. This is an example of Iambic Metre.


Iambic Metre:

Iambic Metre, perhaps one of the most common forms of feet in poetry, is a foot which starts with an unstressed syllable, such as avocado, and ending with as stressed syllable. On one hand, it may span a single line, however it may be a short as a single phrase.


Trochiaic Metre:

Trochiaic Metre begins with a stressed syllable and ends with an unstressed syllable – the opposite of Iambic Feet.


Anapesetic Metre:

Anapesetic Metre is a foot which starts with two unstressed syllables, which is followed by a stressed syllable. For example:




You made a snap


Dactylic Metre:

Similar to Anapesetic Metre, Dactylic Metre begins with a stressed syllable, and is followed by two unstressed syllables. This may come in a number of variations, however one notable example of Dactylic Metre is that by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.



This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks…


Spondaic Metre:

A foot consisting of two stressed syllables.


Pyrrhic Metre:

Pyrrhic Metre is a form of feet, made up of two unstressed syllables. It is often used to create a variation in rhyming patterns and is popular among Greek poems.

Don Juan –

“My way is to begin with the beginning.” – Lord Byron


These rules of metre, when applied with the feet lengths below, may be added together in order to create terms for describing poetry. For example, Iambic Pentametre and Spondaic Hexametre.


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



There is a new creative writing competition on the theme of ‘The Future’.

The piece may follow any format, such as poetry or non-fiction, providing that it totals less than 2500 characters (not including the title or any footnotes).

All participants will have their work shared and blogs linked to, however the winner’s work will be featured and blog linked to for a fortnight.

To enter, please use the contact section, or email me at:



The deadline for the competition is the tenth of February…

Thank you for taking part!


The previous winner’s blog: https://gingershouts.wordpress.com/








5 thoughts on “Poetry Glossary: Different Types of Metre Explaineed

      1. I can’t speak for more dedicated individuals, but I would find the refreshers helpful. For example, I’ve got a little book on grammar tips I turn to now and then. It’s one of my most used books in my library, though whether I’ve actually absorbed any knowledge in the long run is another matter!

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      2. Thank you for sharing your opinions with me on this matter – I believe I shall continue a poetry glossary, although it may deem less useful to more experienced writer’s. Admittedly, I had to do a little research myself for this post.

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