Hi Everybody, What I'd like to get clear is this: I have a real problem with understanding this stressed/unstressed syllable thing in poetry. The concept itself seems pretty simple and straight-forward (we have the trochee [stressed/unstressed], iamb [unstressed/stressed], spondee [stressed/stressed], and phyrric [unstressed/unstressed] aside from other foots [imperfect, amphibrach, bacchius, ect]). The problem comes to me when I try to apply that to my own poetry. I often try to scan or "dissect" other poems to try to see how the poet uses the meter, so I can better understand it. But it's during this process that I get confused. Here's an example. I once scanned Shakespeare's first sonnet by myself to identify the iambic feet in the lines. Since I'm not really sure how to place the stressed/unstressed signs over the words, I'll make it red the stressed syllable and blue the unstressed syllable. So (and correct me if I'm wrong please) we have: From fair/-est crea/-tures we/de-sire/in -crease That there/by beau/ty's rose/ might nev/-er die His ten/-der heir/might bear/ his me/-mo- ry But thou/con-trac/-ted to/thine own/bright eyes Correct me if I'm wrong again, but should not words like "bright" and "might" be accented as well? As far as I know, if you get a good dictionary that will show you the stressed syllables in words, one should find that "bright" and "might" are stressed words. So why would they be unstressed or fall in the unstressed part of the iamb in Shakespeare's sonnet? There are countless other examples which I could post it here, but I nearly lost 40 minutes just writing these four lines above. What my question comes down to is this - is this stressed/unstressed syallable thing something that is subjective instead of a constant rule? Meaning, are there words that usually are stressed that become unstressed when we place them next to other words? Because if we were to go by the dictionary and make "might never" foot or "bright eyes" they would no longer be iambs, but spondee, which leads to my next question - are all of Shakespeare's sonnets in perfect iambic pentameter? If not, does that mean that adding a different foot (like a spondee) to a sonnet should not alter that all in all, it's still a sonnet?