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At its strictest, iambic pentameter is just as rigid as you've described. "Poetry" is a dactyl (X-/-/), not an iamb (/-X), hence it shouldn't fit anywhere in an iamb-only sequence. Likewise, by the "strictest" definition, each word has a single primary stress, making the use of many polysyllabic words impossible by definition. That said, "stress" seems to ...


3

Secondary stress in poetic meter gets promoted (or emphasized) when surrounded by non-stressed syllables: His po e try was bad vs. His po etry hurt Linguistically speaking the English language has 3 or 4 levels of stress (depending on who you ask). Poetic meter only has two however - thus it is the relative level of stress that matters.


1

Cheat. Drop some letters/syllables. It's true, in po'try, it cannae be changed (Feels like "can" needs another unstressed after it, doesn't it?)



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