I am an able-bodied person and she is a horse, 15

A big blue horse, a really big horse, 12

Like the one we see in movies. 8

I am wondering if it should be 14, 11 and 8, because we usually pause at the end of a line when reading a poem. What are the rules regarding this? Do comma at the end of a line behave the same way as a comma in the middle of a line when it comes to counting syllable in a poem?

  • To clarify: is your first language something other than English?
    – Valkor
    Sep 13 '20 at 5:40

commas do not count as syllables. In the first line, the comma may not even be necessary depending on how you want the poem to read. The comma in the middle of the line is not a syllable either. It is a short breath between the two clauses. You could even drop down the second line "a really big horse" and make it into a new line.

So, the poem looks like it should be 14, 9, 8. However, unless you are following a specific meter. the amount of syllables doesn't really have to follow any certain rules. you also have more freedom with how you use your punctuation. You can leave it in or take it out, however, the bottom line is that commas are not syllables, but are more like short breaths between the syllables.

  • 14, 9, 8? Not 14, 11, 8?
    – broombust
    Sep 11 '20 at 2:36
  • 1
    A|big|blue|horse|, A| rea|lly|big|horse, you might be thinking of horse as 2 syllables but nobody really reads horse as hor|se. it is usually read in one breath, so it is considered 1 syllable Sep 11 '20 at 3:11

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