Mammoth Memory

Trochaic pentameter

A trochaic foot (trochee) has a long syllable followed by a short syllable (LS or /U).

Pentameter is five feet per line.



Poems written entirely, or even almost entirely, in trochaic pentameter are difficult, if not impossible, to find. Trochaic tetrameter and trochaic octameter appear to be more popular with poets. To show you how trochaic pentameter would sound, we’ve simply chosen some random trochaic words and put them into pentameter lines – not quite a poem, but you should get the rhythmic effect:

Pentameter is five feet per line.


Happy, hammer, nugget, double, injure,

Roses, hippie, clever, dental, Ninja,

Shatter, pitcher, chosen, planet, chorus,

Window, bladder, cuddle, slacker, porous.


You’ve probably realised that the lack of rhythmic variation in this form is why poets don’t write in pure trochaic pentameter, although they do use trochaic words and phrases among other types of feet in pentameter lines.


A closer look at the feet in this “poem”


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

trochaic pentameter example

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