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I'm trying to determine the meter of "i lik the bred" poems:

"i lik the bred" is a series of short poems about a domesticated cow written by British author Sam Garland, better known by his Reddit handle Poem_for_your_sprog

The original poem

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed -
i stay up late.
i lik the bred.

I think it's an alternating stress pattern, but I don't know much about poetry. Perhaps it's iambic tetrameter? But I would like to know for certain.

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This is a very simple type of poetic metre, iambic dimeter. Each line consists of just two feet, and each foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable:

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed -
i stay up late.
i lik the bred.

Wikipedia's example of iambic dimeter is Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow", although not every line is four syllables:

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

You can see that the rhythm of the four-syllable lines in this poem is the same as in the one that you're asking about.

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  • Ah brilliant, I had gotten, syllables, feet and meter mixed up it seems. – Pureferret Mar 24 at 22:46
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    It's not easy to find examples of iambic dimeter! Robert Herrick's "To the Lark" is another. – Gareth Rees Mar 24 at 22:50
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    @GarethRees Lullabies or nursery rhymes might be a place to look? It's such a simple metre, maybe suitable for children's poems. – Rand al'Thor Mar 24 at 22:53
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    another important aspect of the bredlik form is that it is 2 verses of 4 lines, in an ABCB rhyme-scheme. This rhyme scheme actually suggests the bredlik, unlike Dust of Snow, may be better analysed as a pair of rhyming couplets in iambic tetrameter, with a caesura in the middle of each line (marked in the typesetting with a linebreak) – Tristan Mar 25 at 9:59

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