103 WHAT ARE METRICAL FEET?
A Metrical Foot is a single unit of measurement that is repeated within a line of poetry. Metrical Feet are made up of STRESSED And UNstressed syllables. All the Metrical Feet that are used in English poetry and verse have exactly one STRESSED syllable and one or two UNstressed syllables. Metrical Feet are the structured building blocks that make up Meter.
IAMB: A Metrical Foot consisting of one UNstressed syllable followed by one STRESSED syllable. An Iamb does not have to be a word. But it must be exactly two syllables, so it can be one word, or two.
re WARD de LAY in VENT o VERT in CASE for LORN
ANAPEST: A Metrical Foot consisting of two UNstressed syllables followed by one STRESSED syllables. Like an Iamb, an Anapest does not have to be a complete word. And since it is three syllables, it can be as many as three words.
in the LIGHT of the MOON ov er HILL ov er DALE
TROCHEE: A Metrical Foot consisting of one STRESSED syllable followed by one UNstressed syllable. A Trochee is an Iamb backwards. You will see in 105A that Trochaic and Iambic Meters can be very similar.
STOR ies BA by CHICK en SNOD grass
DACTYL: A Metrical Foot consisting of one STRESSED syllable followed by two UNstressed syllables. A Dactyl is an Anapest backwards. You will see in 105A that Dactylic and Anapestic Meters can be very similar.
SUD den ly DIF fi cult DEV a state MIS er y
To understand how Metrical Feet make up Metrical Lines see 104A Metrical Lines