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Two syllable foot:

Meter Name Rhythm Example Word
iam _ / alive, amuse, arise, attache, awake, contain, destroy, demise, return
trochee / _ after, country, happy,
spondee / / aircraft, Airforce, Barneck, dumbbell, football, heartbreak

The three syllable foot

Meter Name Rhythm Example Word
anapests _ _ / interfere, interact, in a flash, understand
dactyls / _ _ carefully, changeable, contrary, happiness, merrily, partially, terrible


Syllable Stressed/Unstressed
_ Unstressed syllable
/ Stressed syllable

Knowing rhythm and meter is a requirement for writing traditional sonnets. You don’t need to have the terms memorized, but you need to understand them.

This doesn’t just help for sonnets. Any poetry can benefit from understanding rhythm. Also prose can improved with rhythm and meter. You can use it for pacing, to speed up or slow down a sentence.