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Are there any software tools available that will help me dissect my meter? I have always been extremely poor at scansion and while my writing doesn't suffer terribly for it, it makes writing strict meter very difficult for me. In fact I don't think I've ever managed to write a sonnet in strict iambic pentameter.

  • Do you want a tool that would allow you to mark scansion on top of your text, or are you looking for software that would do it all for you? I don't think the latter is possible: prepositions, for example, might be stressed or unstressed depending on the rest of the sentence. – Galastel Mar 5 at 14:18
  • @Galastel The latter ideally, although I could probably manage with the former. – bruglesco Mar 5 at 14:19
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    For me, it was practice that helped me get better at scansion. I recall sitting in math class, and sometimes writing down phrases the teacher had said and trying to mark meter on them - when I wasn't too busy taking real notes. It always seemed easier to mark meter longhand. – Jedediah Mar 6 at 22:54
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This might help with the identifying-meter educational part of it: https://prosody.lib.virginia.edu/

It’s an interactive on-line tutorial that can train you to scan traditionally metered English poetry. Here you can get practice and instant feedback in one important way of analyzing, and developing an ear and a feel for, accentual-syllabic verse. That’s the kind of verse that remained standard in English during the half millennium from Chaucer’s age until the time of Hardy, Yeats, and Frost ...

Once you’ve marked each syllable to reflect your reading of the line — and we’ll get soon to some guidelines for doing that — cursor over to the right of the box and click the first icon (arrows). A green, red, or yellow light will let you know you’ve scanned the line correctly, incorrectly, or somehow problematically...

And this part sounds really useful:

one more feature, which 4B4V displays only once your scansion of the full text is correct. At that point a Syncopation checkbox appears next to the others down below. Try it, and you’ll see the poem’s rhythmic discrepancies brought out in new color. These are the poem’s planned prosodic accidents, its signal idiosyncrasies (all quotes from the help page - https://prosody.lib.virginia.edu/instructions/ )


It looks like researchers making progress on an auto-scansion tool detail their findings about ZeuScansion here. (I just skimmed the PDF) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/246935675_ZeuScansion_a_tool_for_scansion_of_English_poetry

That was 2013, so you may want to check their citations and who has cited them to check on more current progress


English is full of irregularities, so it seems AI has had better luck with Latin here: http://www.logical.ai/arma/

Instead, it works backwards: starting from the assumption that the meter is perfect dactylic hexameter, it is able to determine the natural length of each vowel by guessing which feet are dacyls and which are spondees

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