All terms

What is an Acatalectic?

A complete metric line of verse.

The Full Story of Complete Metric Lines in Poetry

Acatalectic refers to a complete metric line of verse that contains the full number of syllables required by the particular poetic form being used, without any omitted or added syllables at the end. This term can be particularly useful when discussing scansion and meter, as it describes a perfectly balanced line of poetry. Throughout the history of English poetry, acatalectic lines have been used in a variety of forms and styles, from sonnets to epic poems to free verse. Writers who are interested in the technical aspects of poetry often focus on creating acatalectic lines to show their mastery of form, while those who prefer more free-form styles may choose to use catalectic or hypercatalectic line endings to create more rhythmic variation and interest.

Examples of Acatalectic Lines in Literature
Here are two examples of famous lines from literature that use acatalectic meter:
From Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

From Paradise Lost by John Milton

Of man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,