Meter in Pied Beauty

Meter Examples in Pied Beauty:

Pied Beauty 2

"Práise him...."   (Pied Beauty)

Hopkins controls the meter in the last pair of lines to end the poem with a jolt. The penultimate line follows standard iambic pentameter and builds tension that is released in the short final line: “Praise him.” This phrase is a trochee, a pair of syllables that begins with a stress. The trochee, with its bursting quality, is particularly powerful after the march of iambs in the preceding line.

"finches’ wings..."   (Pied Beauty)

Throughout his poetry, Hopkins experiments with rhythm and meter. While “Pied Beauty” is roughly in pentameter—with five beats per line—the metrical feet vary and the words often create surprising, elaborate rhythms. “Fresh-firecoal” builds up to a pair of dactylic phrases: “chestnut-falls; finches’ wings.” With their leading stressed syllable and trailing unstressed syllables, these two dactyls create a fitting, falling sound.