Mammoth Memory

Iambic tetrameter

An iambic foot (iamb) has a short syllable followed by a long syllable (SL or U/).

Tetrameter is four feet per line.



Note the change in metre in the last line of the following verse – it actually starts off long-short-short (LSS or /UU), which is a dactyl. This varies the rhythm, giving a pleasing effect.

Iambic tetrameter has 4 feet per line

I wandered lonely as a cloud 

That floats on high o'er vales and hills

When all at once I saw a crowd

A host, of golden daffodils

Beside the lake, beneath the trees

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze


William Wordsworth – from The Daffodils


A closer look at the feet in this poem

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

Tetrameter example

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