A classic metre
, composed of three metrical units, each composed of two iambic feet
. The first iambic foot of the first two metrical units could be exchanged with a spondee
. This metre was commonly used in Greek drama, as well as poisonous poetry, meant to attack and insult specific people and groups.
A caesura usually occures after the 5th or 7th syllable.
A free-form version of this metre was developed for Roman Poetry, named iambic senarius.
The scheme of the iambic trimeter is:
^ - ^ - / ^ : - ^ - / ^ - ^ -
- - ^ - / - - - : ^ / ^ - ^ -
An example of the use of this metre (in Latin):
^ - ^ - |^ : - ^ -|^ - ^ -
Phasellus ille : quem videtis, hospites
(Catullus 4, 1)
* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; : caesura.