The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018


Spondee: A metrical foot in poetry that consists of two stressed syllables (´ ´). The use of the spondee as the base, or predominant, foot of a poem is rare.

EXAMPLES: bést-knόwn, fúll mόon, séa bréeze. The first half of the nursery rhyme “One, two, buckle my shoe,” is heavily spondaic, as is the first stanza of Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (1952):

Dó nót gó géntle into that góod nі́ght,

Óld áge shóuld búrn and rave at close of day;

Ráge, ráge against the dying of the light.