the analysis and visual representation of a poem's metrical pattern. Adapted from the classical method of analyzing ancient Greek and Roman quantitative verse, scansion in English prosody employs a system of symbols to reveal the mechanics of a poem-i.e., the predominant type of foot (the smallest metrical unit of stressed and unstressed syllables); the number of feet per line; and the rhyme scheme. The purpose of scansion is to enhance the reader's sensitivity to the ways in which rhythmic elements in a poem convey meaning. Deviations in a poem's metrical pattern are often significant to its meaning.
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