Mammoth Memory

Anapestic pentameter

An anapestic foot (known as an anapest) has two short syllables followed by a long syllable (SSL, or UU/).


Pentameter is five feet per line.


We were unable to find any examples of anapestic pentameter, so this is obviously not a popular combination. Please let us know if you come across any!


However, we made up the following two lines which, we think, is a perfect example of how an anapestic pentameter poem would read:

Pentameter is five feet per line

As we walked down the lane in the sweltering heat of the day

We saw men making hay in a field in the old-fashioned way.


A closer look at the feet in these lines


U = short syllable; / = long syllable; | = division between feet


Anapestic pentameter example

In response to our request that students send us any examples of anapestic pentameter they come across, Thomas Strand, from Stamford, Connecticut, sent us this:

"I think I have an example of anapestic pentameter. The opening sentence of Cormac McCarthy's The Road begins:

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night . . .

Although The Road is a novel rather than a poem, that is a perfect example of a line of anapestic pentameter. Many thanks, Thomas!

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