Sapphic Definition | What is Sapphic? - PoetrySoup
The Sapphic stanza, named after Sappho, is a poetic form spanning four lines.
The form is three hendecasyllabic lines of trochee, trochee, dactyl, trochee, trochee and a concluding line of dactyl, trochee, known as the Adonic or adonean line.
Using "-" for a long syllable, "u" for a short and "x" for an "anceps" (or free syllable):
The Sapphic stanza was imitated in English by Algernon Charles Swinburne in a poem he simply called Sapphics:
- Saw the white implacable Aphrodite,
- Saw the hair unbound and the feet unsandalled
- Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
- Saw the reluctant. . .
Allen Ginsberg also experimented with the form:
- Red cheeked boyfriends tenderly kiss me sweet mouthed
- under Boulder coverlets winter springtime
- hug me naked laughing & telling girl friends
- gossip til autumn