The foot is the basic metrical unit that generates a line of verse in most Western traditions of poetry, including English accentual-syllabic verse and the quantitative meter of classical ancient Greek and Latin poetry. The unit is composed of syllables, the number of which is limited, with a few variations, by the sound pattern the foot represents. The most common feet in English are the iamb, trochee, dactyl, and anapest.
The English word "foot" is a translation of the Latin term pes, plural pedes; the equivalent term in Greek, sometimes used in English as well, is metron, plural metra, which means "measure". The foot might be compared to a measure in musical notation.
The foot is a purely metrical unit; there is no inherent relation to a word or phrase as a unit of meaning or syntax, though the interplay among these is an aspect of the individual poet's skill and artistry.
Read more about Foot (prosody): The Poetic Feet in Classical Meter
Famous quotes containing the word foot:
“Few and signally blessed are those whom Jupiter has destined to be cabbage-planters. For theyve always one foot on the ground and the other not far from it. Anyone is welcome to argue about felicity and supreme happiness. But the man who plants cabbages I now positively declare to be the happiest of mortals.”
—François Rabelais (c. 14941553)