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Poulter's measure

Couplets in which a 12-syllable iambic line (see Alexandrine) rhymes with a 14-syllable iambic line (see Fourteener). It was used frequently during the English Renaissance; see “Complaint of the Absence of Her Love Being upon the Sea,” in which Henry Howard breaks the couplets into quatrains. This is a common feature of hymn and ballad meter as well. Limericks can be scanned as Poulter’s measure. See also common measure.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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