4 kinds of verse:
• accentual: set number of stresses, any number of
syllables. Common in Old English poetry, some
ballads, nursery rhymes, etc.
• syllabic: set number of syllables, any number of
stresses. Rare in English, but cf. Marianne Moore.
• accentual-syllabic. lines have a dominant meter (a
pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables) and
usually a set pattern of line lengths (e.g. same number
of feet in every line, same number of feet in
corresponding lines of different stanzas
• free verse: doesn't mean no form at all, but rather that
the lines are arranged by some other principle than a.,
s., or a.-s.
what do you need to know about
̆ ̆ ́
́ ̆ ̆
scanning a poem
• Start by hearing what's there.
• Figure out dominant rhythm: most common
type of foot and line lengths. Be aware of
• Mark the feet using conventional symbols.
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore,
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires.