Experiments in Form Part 4: Rolling

The second of the two poetic feet, the trochee, is much less common than the iambic foot. Iambic meter is more like regular speech; trochaic meter is much stronger, more emphatic. It means “rolling”, and you can see why. The stress should naturally fall on the first of every pair of beats, and creates a driving, pounding rhythm, like a stone rolling down a hill.

Rolling (Trochaic Foot)

Through the mountains and the valleys,
Over peaks and under rivers,
Fording streams and climbing towers,
Soaring clouds and scrambling bushes,
In between the ocean’s channels,
Underneath the water’s mountains,
Surfing lava, binding plasma,
In amidst the atom’s fury,
And the brain’s minutest signals,
All the tension of the muscles,
In the tissue’s smallest fissures,
In the heartland of the spirit:
You will find me, You will find me;
You have made and known it all.


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