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Iambic Pentameter

Poetry which is written in Iambic Pentameter is iambic poetry, which means that it is made up of iambs. Penta means five, so each line of iambic pentameter is made up of five iambs.

The following is a short example of a poem written in iambic pentameter:

To pass the evening's swiftly fading light,
I pulled from off the shelf a poet's book,
Swept cobwebs from imagination's nook,
And filled my mind with wonder and delight.

(Copyright 2010, by Douglas Twitchell)

This same poem is written below with accented syllables written in upper case letters, so you can see that there are five pairs of alternating unaccented and accented syllables.

to PASS the EVENing's SWIFTly FADing LIGHT,
i PULLED from OFF the SHELF a POet's BOOK,
swept COBwebs FROM iMAGinAtion's NOOK,
and FILLED my MIND with WONder AND deLIGHT.

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