The Classical lyric metres differ from the metres in other poetic genres by their being independent complete units, as lines or stanzas, and not simply a combination of various metric feet whose order and quantity determines their name (trochaic octonarius for instance).

The Sapphic stanza is one of the two most important generic stanzas of Classical poetry (the other one being the Alcaic Stanza). It is called after the Lesbian (a resident of Lesbos) poet Sappho.

This is actually only the first of the Sapphic stanzas, however as it is by far the commonest of these metres, it is usually called just "The Sapphic Stanza" The Sapphic stanza is consisted of four lines, the first three of which have this same pattern, with a caesura after the 5th syllable:

 - ^ - - - : ^ ^ - ^ - -

The last line is a short Adonic, with this pattern:

 - ^ ^ - -

* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; : caesura.

Example (in Latin):

 -  ^ -   - -:  ^ ^ -   ^  - -
 Integer vita scelerisque purus
  -  ^ -   -  - : ^ ^ -   ^      -  -
 non eget Mauris iaculis nequ(e) arcu
  -   ^ - - - :  ^ ^ -  ^ -  -
 nec venenatis gravida sagittis,
  -  ^    ^ -  -
 Fusca, pharetra.

(Horatius, Od. I, 22, 1-4)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.