What are the different kinds of metrical feet used in lines 1, 2, and 5 of this poem by Edward Lear: There was a young lady of Wilts, Who walked up to Scotland on stilts; When they said it is shocking To show so much stocking, She answerd, "The what about kilts?"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This lines you indicated are written in Iambic/Dactyl Tetrameter.  Dactyl refers to the poem's meter - the pattern of syllables in a line.  Dactyl consists of two unstressed (or weak) and one stressed syllable.  Each of the lines here start with a iamb - one unstressed and one stressed syllable, followed by two dactyls.

The tetrameter refers to the number of meterical feet in each line.  There are three in these lines - one iamb, and two dactyls.

The shorter two lines also start with an iamb and then a dactyl, but the last foot of those lines is not completed.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial