A cluster is a five-syllable sequence of unstressed and stressed syllables. Iambic pentameter for $2.99 per month. What is the practice of categorizing the stress patterns in poetry known as? Scansion.
Scanning is the act of scanning through a text line by line looking for specific patterns, or "scans." The term comes from ancient Greece and means to scan a metal object with a magnet to see its characteristics.
In poetry scansion involves reading each line of the poem carefully and noting any prominent patterns of unstressed and stressed syllables. The number of times that an unstressed syllable follows a stressed one defines their relationship: once = monosyllabic, twice = disyllabic, etc.
For example, in this sonnet by Emily Dickinson the first line contains a monosyllabic word (love) that is followed by a disyllabic one (o'er). This pattern produces a scan of "-ove"- no more than five characters long. -"a" and "e" are both unaccented and thus featureless letters that can be used to mark the beginning or end of a word.
As another example, here is a line from a poem by William Carlos Williams: "the mind is its own place / And in itself can make a heaven or hell".
The line has five parts and five stresses that follow the da-DUM pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Iambic pentameter is defined as having 10 syllables each line. Generally, the first two lines have seven stresses, the third line has six stresses, and the fourth line back again has seven stresses.
Stress is the key element in understanding how English works. If you know where to place the stress in a sentence, you will be able to predict how the meaning will change. For example, if you put the stress on the wrong word, the meaning will be completely different: "This is a car." "THIS IS A CAR." Or if you add an extra word between the subject and the verb, the meaning can also be changed: "This is a car." "THISISACAR."
In poetry, it is important to understand where the stress falls so that you can use this information to determine meaning and create beauty in your writing. Poetry has its own unique language elements that non-poets may not be familiar with. Stress is one of them. Knowing where to place the stress will help you sound like a poet when you write poems.
When we read poetry, we frequently skip over repetitive sounds, syllables, words, phrases, lines, stanzas, or metrical patterns, sometimes without even recognizing it. Repetition is one of the most important tools in art and music, as well as in language itself. Without repetition, change would be impossible, and evolution could not occur.
Repetition can be used to great effect in poetry to emphasize a particular word or phrase, to create a rhythm, or to draw our attention to a scene or element within the poem. It can also be used simply because it is difficult to write or say anything new if everything you say repeats another word or phrase. Shakespeare used repetition extensively, often multiple times per line - especially in his early plays when he was trying to get audiences aware of the power of language by showing how words can be repeated to highlight their meaning.
In poems, as in life, repetition can be used as a crutch to avoid writing something new. If someone says or does something annoying, we can avoid commenting on it by repeating what they did earlier. Or if we are having trouble deciding what kind of poem to write, we can use repetition as a guide.