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Metrical Feet

Metrical Feet

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Education Theme

"Metrical Feet" is a poem for a "boy," and Coleridge wrote it in order to help his son learn about different types of metrical feet. The poem's clever rhymes and puns function as teaching tools to help a student remember things about poetry in the same way that rhymes like "i before e except after c" do. In addition, the poem also includes a small comment in the second stanza emphasizing the importance of its lessons and of learning more generally. If we had to describe this poem in one sentence we'd say: it's a teaching poem, and it's meant to educate its reader.

Questions About Education

  1. How important is education to this poem's speaker?
  2. How does this poem teach? Did you learn from it?
  3. Which stanza do you think is more educational – the first or the second? Is it more important to learn meter? Or is it more important to learn about what it takes to be a poet?
  4. What do you think is the main lesson of this poem? In which line does it appear?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The poem suggests that a person's success later in life depends on how well they remember things they have learned as children.

The poem's use of rhymes, puns, and other playful forms of language show that these are more effective teaching tools than memorization or testing.

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