The now book-length poem is written in four-line stanzas, all in rhyming heptameter
couplets, with the first stanza repeated at the end: a form used most famously in Canada by Robert Service in "The Cremation of Sam McGee.'Tt is meant for recitation, and the rhythmic narrative causes readers like me to rush through it headlong, though a well-practised recitation by the writer's son Kelly Russell runs over five minutes.
Occasional lines are in heptameter
, which corresponds to the seven lines which comprise each stanza.
As its title suggests, by means of a pun on the heptameter
If we compare the relative tempos of meters, we can observe that a heptameter
will tend to be slightly quicker than a hexameter, a hexameter quicker than a pentameter, and all the way down.
Coleman writes line one in iambic heptameter
. And, except for the opening trochee, she writes line two in iambic hexameter.
Series of irregular heptameter
verse are found in [section][section] 7, 33, 45 (two series), 48, and 134; and of both irregular heptameter
and tetrameter verse in [section][section] 68 and 94.
What appears as a line and a half in texts of the play published in the eighteenth century and thereafter appears as a single fourteen-syllable line of iambic heptameter
in the 1597 text: "Against the word, as thus: Come little ones, & then againe" (Allen and Muir 237).
The Vice 'drags' rhyme royal 'in the mud', (106) while the revenging hero Horestes speaks chiefly in the clumsy rhymed heptameter
line known as the fourteener.
This latter edition is in some ways a harsher critique of Landon's elegy; it bears her name and collapses the eight-line stanzas into the other ballad form, heptameter
Here Poe lays his famous rational grid upon the composition of a poem of irrationality--"The Raven." For example, he states his (predetermined) scheme for rhythm and meter: "The former is trochaic--The latter is octometer acatalectic, alternating with heptameter
catalectic repeated in the refrain of the fifth verse, and terminating with a tetrameter cataletic" (Essays 21).
Poe afforded him two prominent examples: the heptameter
version of "Lenore"--"Ah, broken is the golden bowl!--the spirit flown forever" (Mabbott, I, 336-337), and the octameters of "The Raven," in both cases stressing a division midway through assonantal and alliterative clusters, setting or balancing or unifying phrases, and conceptually incorporating a midpoint caesura, in the classic sense.
Through the rhymed iambic heptameter
, the epithets ("the bounding step," "dark foaming stream"), and the synecdoches (the heart, the hand), Hemans transplants American Indian experience from its own cultural ground to English soil.