from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A line of English verse composed in iambic hexameter, usually with a caesura after the third foot.
- n. A line of French verse consisting of 12 syllables with a caesura usually falling after the sixth syllable.
- adj. Characterized by or composed in either of these meters.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A line of poetic meter having twelve syllables, usually divided into two or three equal parts.
- n. An Alexandrine parrot or parakeet.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Belonging to Alexandria; Alexandrian.
- n. A kind of verse consisting in English of twelve syllables.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Same as Alexandrian, 1.
- n. In prosody, an iambic hexapody, or series of six iambic feet.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (prosody) a line of verse that has six iambic feet
The 6-stress line is called the alexandrine (probably from the name of an Old French poem in this metre).
a poem of twenty thousand lines (to the form of which this romance gave its name -- "alexandrine" verse), the work of Lambert le Tort and
William Carlos Williams' poem is structured into three verses, but it is basically three alexandrine 12-syllable lines, which makes it an extremely easy form to follow.
The present sewer is a beautiful sewer; the pure style reigns there; the classical rectilinear alexandrine which, driven out of poetry, appears to have taken refuge in architecture, seems mingled with all the stones of that long, dark and whitish vault; each outlet is an arcade; the Rue de Rivoli serves as pattern even in the sewer.
Hear, hear; that's the first thing about poetry I remember learning--the alexandrine verse--its soft and hard accents--"aloft, I laughed."
Too many marching alexandrine feet for me, pieds, like the pied in the Pied Piper or the Piedmont, but not impediment, though I once saw a man wearing a pedometer the Lone Ranger had sent him.
One day I learned in school about an alexandrine--and even today I still remember that an alexandrine was a type of poem some oldtimer wrote honoring Alexander the Great--and how an alexandrine fit a certain pattern based on syllabic time counted by iambs and I'll be damned if I learned where the caesuras go.
But Jonathan's a smart cookie and up on his old-time as well as modern poetry; I saw him discussing the alexandrine in one of his posts.
Yet there will be found some instances where I have completely failed in this attempt, and one, which I here request the reader to consider as an erratum, where there is left, most inadvertently, an alexandrine in the middle of a stanza.
It would not have surprised me to learn that I must subtract at least half a dozen syllables from that portentous phrase to reduce it to alexandrine dimensions.