Sapphic Stanza Notes

Consisting of three unrhymed lines of eleven syllables and one of five, the Sapphic Stanza is derived from the ancient Greek verse of Sappho. Each of the three eleven-syllable lines consists of two trochees, one dactyl and two trochees. This line is known as a Sapphic. The fourth line of the stanza consists of a dactyl followed by a trochee and is known as an Adonic.

This gives a stanza pattern of

/. u.. /. u.. /. u.u.. /. u.. /. u..
/. u.. /. u.. /. u.u.. /. u.. /. u..
/. u.. /. u.. /. u.u.. /. u.. /. u..
/. u.u.. /. u..

Example

Haunting Echoes by Jez Farmer

Sappho wrote her poetic metered stanza
Lyrics voices cantillate call of reeling
Flowing songs from long ago haunting echoes
Drifting from Greek isle

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