- A Metrical Line is one individual line of a specific type of Metrical Foot, or one line with a combination of Metrical Feet, or one line of Meter.
The definitions in this section may seem a little circular, which might be confusing, but they are circular because Meter is really just a combination of individual components with similar names. When you understand how all the components fit together, you will see that Meter is a very well organized concept.
How Metrical Lines are named?
A Metrical Line is named based on the number of feet that are in that line. The chart at the right shows the names of specific line lengths, but note that, even though I have only listed one, some line lengths have more than one name, i.e. heptameter can also be called septameter. You could keep going long after eight, but you will rarely, if ever, see lines of verse with more than eight feet. The single most common line lengths you will see (and probably use) are Tetrameter and Pentameter.
While you will rarely see Hexameter used today, both Homer and Virgil wrote their epics in Hexameter. So, if you ever plan on studying Greek or Latin, you will probably see a lot of poetry in Hexameter. Otherwise, um, not so much. (Homer wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad and Vergil wrote the Aeneid.)
Metrical Foot + Line Length = Meter
Questions? Comments? Lane@RhymeWeaver.com