GotPoetry.com > > Anapest
GotPoetry.com

Help
Toggle ContentToggle Content .:: Home :: Poems :: Workshop Forums :: Register :: Features ::.
Toggle Content MediaWiki Search
 

Toggle Content Menu

Toggle Content Paid Membership
Buy a paid membership and get more out of GotPoetry!

Advertise on the GotPoetry Advertising Network.

Anapest

Anapest

From Poetry Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

An anapaest or anapest, also called antidactylus, is a metrical foot used in formal poetry. In classical quantitative meters it consists of two short syllables followed by a long one (as in a-na-paest); in accentual stress meters it consists of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable. It may be seen as a reversed dactyl.

Here is an example from William Cowper's "Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk" (1782), composed in anapaestic trimeter:

I am out of humanity's reach
I must finish my journey alone

Because of its length and the fact that it ends with a stressed syllable and so allows for strong rhymes, anapaest can produce a very rolling, galloping feeling verse, and allows for long lines with a great deal of internal complexity. The following is from Byron's The Destruction of Sennacherib:

The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

An even more complex example comes from Yeats (The Wanderings of Oisin). He intersperses anapests and iambs, using six-foot lines (rather than four feet as above). Since the anapaest is already a long foot, this makes for very long lines.

Fled foam underneath us and 'round us, a wandering and milky smoke
As high as the saddle-girth, covering away from our glances the tide
And those that fled and that followed from the foam-pale distance broke.
The immortal desire of immortals we saw in their faces and sighed.

The mixture of anapaests and iambs in this manner is most characteristic of late 19th century verse, particularly that of Swinburne in poems such as The Triumph of Time and the choruses from Atalanta in Calydon. Swinburne also wrote several poems in more or less straight anapaests, with line-lengths varying from three feet ("Dolores") to eight feet ("March: An Ode"). However, the anapaest's most common role in English verse is as a comic metre, the foot of the limerick, of Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark, Edward Lear's nonsense poems, T. S. Eliot's Book of Practical Cats, a number of Dr Seuss stories, and innumerable other examples.

Apart from their independent role, anapaests are sometimes used as substitutions in iambic verse. In strict iambic pentameter, anapaests are rare, but they are found with some frequency in freer versions of the iambic line, such as the verse of Shakespeare's last plays, or the lyric poetry of the 19th century.

Another example: From Robert Brownings - THE LABORATORY "which is the poison to poison her prithee?"

ca:Anapest da:Anapæst de:Anapäst fr:Anapeste it:Anapesto he:אנאפסט nl:Anapest no:Anapest pl:Anapest ro:Anapest ru:Анапест sv:Anapest uk:Анапест

Toggle Content Paid Sponsor




GotPoetry - News for poets. Place to write.

GotPoetry is the most popular network of performance poets and poetry readings on the internet today.

Editors: John, Mamta and a cast of tens of others.
Publisher: John Powers

Content © 1998-2008
GotPoetry LLC. All rights reserved

Engine released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy, Legal Notices

Search:
 
GotPoetry.com Web

Forums Search
Gallery Search
Advanced Search


Link to Full Archives
Link to all News Topics


Link for all submission options for this site.

Subscribe - Use an RSS reader to stay up to date with the latest news and posts from GotPoetry.

GotPoetry News RSS Feed

Subscribe with Yahoo!
Subscribe with Google

Other GotPoetry RSS Syndication -  You can syndicate other parts of our site using the following files:

Yesterday's Top News
Yesterday's Top Poems
Forums
New Photos
Blogs
Downloads
Featured Articles