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A study of Metrical Writing, Part 11: Feminine/Hypermetrical endings.

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 211

Today we will be looking at Feminine/Hypermetrical endings.

Feminine endings are important because they allow greater Grammatical and Rhythmic qualities when writing Blank verse. A Feminine Ending is when a line of metrical writing has an extra unstressed syllable at the end of the line (So the line will have 11 syllables vs the usual 10.)

There are two ways this occurs; I will give examples of both.

A group of women kissing one another,

A group /of wom/en kiss/ing one /a-noth(er), (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb(Hypermetrical)

The extra syllable is marked within the (). Also, there is a pun in this line as the line is talking about women and ends with a 'Feminine Ending.'

You may also use a mono-syllable word, like a personal pronoun, at the end of a line and have it count as a hypermetrical ending. Be sure you have a really strong stressed word before it, to avoid confusion in the scansion.

The Black/ bitch ran/ across/ the field/ and bit (me.) (Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb/Iamb(Hyper)))


There is not much more to the Feminine ending than that. I'd like to note that some poets (Frost comes to mind) have really pushed the use of the Feminine ending (such as using the word 'day' in its place) in some poems. It is really one of the most important tools for writing Blank verse (Along with the trochee) in regards to mastering this craft.


Next, we will be looking at The Trochee.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment or a like!

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