# Confused about the meter and rhythm of Ulysses by Tennyson?

Ulysses is written in iambic pentameter. There are a few spondees and trochees thrown in for good measure, but I'm confused in some places, like here: > I cannot rest from travel: I will drink > Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd > Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those > That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when > Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades > Vext the dim sea: I am become a name In the second line, there's a trochee (Life to), but then it continues on normally. Ok. Fine. The line after that does the exact same thing (Greatly). What goes on in the fourth and sixth (last) lines, though? > That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when The first pair (that loved) is an iambic foot, the second (me, and) is what? A trochee? The third (alone) is, finally, an iamb. The rest are iambs. What goes on in Tennyson's head when he creates such a weird structure? How does he decide to break the rules, and where? Also, is it correct to think in pairs when breaking down a poem like this? Similarly, the last line is also funky: > Vext the dim sea: I am become a name Vext the: trochee. Dim sea: spondee? There's also a line at the end of the poem that has 11 syllables, but I guess he just thought "shit, this sounds so good I just *have* to leave it in" because it's the best line in the entire thing. But I'm guessing that's not the usual thought process going on?