Definition of ballad stanza in US English:

ballad stanza


  • A four-line stanza in iambic meter in which the first and third unrhymed lines have four metrical feet and the second and fourth rhyming lines have three metrical feet.

    • ‘Most of the poems employ the forms of the sonnet, rhymed couplets, and ballad stanzas, and most were composed while Cullen was an undergraduate at New York University.’
    • ‘In a few poems, he combines Blues rhythm and ballad stanza, as in the third stanza of ‘Three Folk Songs’.’
    • ‘Cowboy poetry also characteristically employs the stress meters native to English popular poetry, but it usually employs not couplets but some variation of the traditional ballad stanza.’
    • ‘The hymn stanza grew out of the ballad stanza: four beats, three beats, four beats, three beats in alternating isochronous lines.’
    • ‘In this way of talking, the ballad stanza alternates tetrameters (four-foot lines) with trimeters (three-foot lines).’