Indentify which of the following poems is written in iambic pentameter.   "O I fear ye are poisoned, Lord Randal, my son! O I fear ye are poisoned, my handsome young man?" "O yes! I am poisoned; mother, make my bed soon, For I'am sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down." From  "Lord Randal   Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: from Sonnet CXVI by William Shakespeare  

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The second poem is written in iambic pentameter. An iambic foot is a unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Teachers often try to describe this to their students as the "da-DUM" rhythm, or rather, meter of a poem. (ie: let ME not TO the MAR-iage OF true MINDS).

Pentameter stipulates that there must be 5 iambic feet in each line. While we could identify iambic feet in the first poem, it does not have 5 feet in each line.

Enotes has a great reference article about iambic pentameter structure if you need to mark the meter of your poem with stressed and unstressed syllables. Check it out!

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