Explain the meter of "Their Will Come Soft Rains." Would the meter be: monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, or pentameter?
First let me just exclaim, “A rhythm and meter question!?! I LOVE IT!!!” : )
Teasdale is a master of the rhyming couplet, isn’t she? It’s hard, however, when you’re trying to pin down a rhyme scheme that doesn’t really “want” to be pinned down. The rhythm is very close to iambic pentameter (which would be five iambs per line, of course) especially the first two lines which are often looked at as the defining couplet; however, each line deviates from this, sometimes slightly and sometimes greatly. The most common (confusing) exceptions here are the obvious anapests at the end of many lines with the anapest’s very definite “short-short-long” meter. For example, check out the anapests at the end of the end of the first four lines ending in “smell of the ground,” “shimmering sound,” “singing at night,” and “tremulous white.” The only other issue is that there are quite a few lines of definite iambic tetrameter like “If mankind perished utterly.” These two avid exceptions aside, it is safe to call this poem “loose iambic pentameter.”