i need help in identify the metrical pattern found in "Dreams".

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The metrical pattern in Langston Hughes' poem "Dreams" is very simplistic. What one needs to do when determining meter in a poem is read it aloud. To note syllables, place your finger under your chin and count how many times your chin drops when saying a word. (Nice trick--try it out.) This is the easiest way to determine stressed and unstressed syllables.

Here is the poem:

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

When writing the meter of a poem, stressed syllables are denoted by bold font and unstressed are in regular.

Therefore, this is the metrical pattern:

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.


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