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Thinking about metre

Watch two poets - Vahni Capildeo and Penny Boxall - discuss ways of thinking about metre.

Metre is the term we use to describe the pattern of syllables and stresses in a line. It gives us a vocabulary for talking about, and recognising, how poetry relates to habits of speech, and how poets can play games with the rhythm and pace of their poetry.

In this video, the poets Vahni Capildeo and Penny Boxall discuss various ways of thinking about metre.

Choose one of our prompting questions to respond to in our comments section:

Is metre a concept you are familiar with?

Could you identify iambic pentameter (one of the most famous metrical structures of English verse and verse drama)?

Can you think of an example of a poem where the metre either confounds your expectations or reinforces the meaning of the lines?

How do you think about metre?

Let us know in the comments below.

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