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.
scanning a poem • Start by hearing what's there. • Figure out dominant rhythm: most common type of foot and line lengths. Be aware of variations. • 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.