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Creative Writing: Poetry: Meter & Prosody


A normative and abstract idea of how the line of verse should behave. Meter is based on the formal auditory structure of a language. Hence in Greek, quantity (or length of vowel) determines  the way syllables measure within metrical feet, but in English degrees of stress (relative emphasis given to some syllables in preference to others) perform this function. Meter as a term discriminates the stress-contour of verse from that of prose. Stress can be marked in prose, but prose cannot be scanned (i.e. metrically graphed) (Kinzie, 1999).


Derived from the Greek word for accent and often used as the category for all effects of poetic sound. More strictly, the study of versification, that is, the auditory logic or rhythmic style of a poem when viewed as the interaction of the other elements of style with the poem's meter (Kinzie, 1999).

Resources for Meter & Prosody