AP Poetry Terms 6 – Rhythm and Meter

rhythm
the regular recurrance of the accent or stress in a poem or song; the pulse or beat we feel in a phrase of music or a line of poetry

caesuras
pauses within a line of poetry (indicated by commas)

meter
the measure or patterned count of a poetic line; the count of stresses we feel in the poem’s rhythm

foot
a unit of measure consisting of stressed and unstressed syllables; this will usually contain two syllables

iamb
an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one

trochee
an accented syllable followed by an unaccented one

spondee
two accented syllables used side-by-side

pyrrhic
two unaccented syllables used side-by-side

anapest
two accented syllables followed by an accented one

dactyl
begins with an accented syllable followed by two unaccented ones

enjambed
run-on lines; the sense and grammar of these lines run over and into the next lines