How to Scan a Poem

If meter is poetry’s best-kept secret, scansion is the key to its multifaceted treasures. How can scanning poems help unlock their beauties, meanings and dynamics? What’s the best way to scan a poem? What is the metrical contract? Why does iambic pentameter dominate other meters? Is there meter in free verse? In this single-session, online intensive, we’ll map the rhythmical depths of classic and contemporary poems in iambs, trochees, anapests and dactyls by poets including Edgar Allan Poe, Hart Crane, Gwendolyn Brooks and Patricia Smith. Bring your heart, your body and your questions and prepare to experience poetry as never before. Class will meet synchronously via Zoom.

Workshop Details

  • Teacher: Annie Finch
  • Level: I
  • Date: Nov 19, 2023
  • Time: Sunday, 10:30 am–1:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $95
  • Class size: 6–12 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, NOV 12, 2023
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEP 10
Annie Finch

Annie Finch

Annie Finch is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells (Wesleyan), Eve and Calendars (both finalists for the National Poetry Series), and Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams (Sarasvati Award). Her other books include A Poet’s Craft and Choice Words: Writers on Abortion. Finch’s poetry has appeared in The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry and been performed onstage at Carnegie Hall. Educated at Yale and Stanford, where she earned her PhD, she teaches meter and magic at and speaks and performs widely from her home base in Brooklyn.