Poetry Society of Tennessee

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


The ballad is a rhymed form adapted for singing or recitation. Thrall & Hibbard speak of it as a simple narrative of a dramatic and exciting episode. Hence, it should tell a story.

The ballad stanza is specific to the form. This 4-line stanza has 8 syllables (4 feet) in lines 1 and 3; 6 syllables (3 feet) in lines 2 and 4. (This 4/3/4/3 rhythm is sometimes called "rocking horse" rhythm.) The meter is usually iambic. The rhyme scheme is a-b-c-b.

Below is an example of the ballad stanza:

There lived a wife at Usher's Well,
and a wealthy wife was she;
she had three stout and stalwart sons,
and sent them o'er the sea.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for putting these up. They'll be very helpful in October.