SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Answers to test for finding meter and feet

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  1. Iambic pentameter (5 iambs, 10 syllables)
    That time | of year | thou mayst | in me | behold (Sonnet 73, by William Shakespeare)
  2. Trochaic tetrameter (4 trochees, 8 syllables)
    Tell me | not, in | mournful | numbers (A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
  3. Anapestic trimeter (3 anapests, 9 syllables)
    And the sound | of a voice | that is still (Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
  4. Line 1 – Iambic pentameter (5 iambs, 10 syllables)
    Line 2 – Quartus paeon (4 syllables, short-short-short-long), iambic trimeter (3 iambs, 6 syllables)
    VADER “I want | the ship,| not thy | most weak | dismay”
    PIETT “I un-der-stand, | my Lord, | and shall | obey.”
    (William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back, by Ian Doescher) Doescher was referring to Lord Darth Vader, so the iamb “my Lord” can stay, but to make it pure iambic pentameter, he might have made the line: “I know/I will/I go/My bad| my Lord | and/I shall  | obey”. Or something like that.Of course, while Shakespeare often wrote his plays in iambic pentameter, they were not all regular and they did not always rhyme. Sometimes he would end a verse written in iambic pentameter with a rhyming couplet, as Doescher did here with “dismay” and obey”.
  5. Line 1 – Anapestic tetrameter (4 anapests, 12 syllables)
    Coun-try roads,| take me home | to the place | I be-long.
    Line 2 – Dimetric tertius paeon (2 tertius paeons, 8 syllables)
    West Vir-gin-ia, | moun-tain mam-ma,
    Line 3 – Anapestic dimeter (2 anapests, 6 sylables)
    Take me home, | coun-try roads. (Country Roads, by John Denver)