Accent (poetry)

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Metrical feet and accents
◡ ◡pyrrhic, dibrach
◡ –iamb
– ◡trochee, choree
– –spondee
◡ ◡ ◡tribrach
– ◡ ◡dactyl
◡ – ◡amphibrach
◡ ◡ –anapaest, antidactylus
◡ – –bacchius
– – ◡antibacchius
– ◡ –cretic, amphimacer
– – –molossus
See main article for tetrasyllables.

In English poetry, accent refers to the stressed syllable of a polysyllabic word, or a monosyllabic word that receives stress because it belongs to an "open class" of words (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) or because of "contrastive" or "rhetorical" stress. In basic analysis of a poem by scansion, accents can be represented by a short vertical line (') preceding the syllable, while the divisions between feet are shown by a slash (/).[1]

There is generally one accent in each foot, for example:

Be-'hold / her, 'sin-/gle 'in / the 'field
Yon 'sol-/i-'tar-/y 'high-/land 'lass!
'Reap-ing / and 'sing-/ing 'by / her-'self;
'Stop here /or 'gent-/ly 'pass.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St. Edward's University: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2007-12-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Accessed December 28, 2007.

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