Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson Writing Styles in Proem

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Iambic Tetrameter

"Proem" is written in quatrains, which are fourline stanzas. It follows the rhyme scheme abba: the word at the end of the first line of each stanza rhymes with the word ending the last line, making the "a" rhyme, and the two middle lines end with the "b" rhyme. The lines follow an iambic tetrameter pattern. Iambic is a pattern of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, as in "forgive" and "embrace." This pattern is obviously subject to variation, especially at the beginnings of stanzas: outside of the context of the poem, the natural tendency for reading such phrases as "strong son" and "thine are" would be to put the stress on the first syllable, not the second. Tetrameter contains the Greek prefix "tetra," meaning "four": there are four iambs in each line. This metrical form is so strongly associated with Tennyson's poem...

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This section contains 299 words
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Poetry for Students
Proem from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.