CPCW: The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. Rhythm and Meter in English Poetry. Rhythm and Meter in English Poetry English poetry employs five basic rhythms of varying stressed (/) and unstressed (x) syllables.
The meters are iambs, trochees, spondees, anapests and dactyls. In this document the stressed syllables are marked in boldface type rather than the tradition al "/" and "x. " Each unit of rhythm is called a "foot" of poetry. The meters with two-syllable feet are. Square Stanza.